When we think about the way of the cross, we often focus on the pain and suffering that Christ went through. We go through the stations in sorrow, and with a heavy heart as we try to picture what that moment would’ve looked like. Those of us that have seen “The Passion of Christ” bring more of a real life scene into every station and we remember the tremendous agony that was constantly increased as Christ came closer and closer to His death.
Are we able to look beyond the sorrow and pain, and see it as a way of love?
Recently I saw a beautiful comparison of the 15 Stations of the Cross (including the Resurrection) and the 15 qualities of love that are found in St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. The fact that there are 15 qualities and 15 stations (if we count the Resurrection) is definitely not a coincidence. God never fails to surprise us, and with Him there is no such thing as a coincidence. As the priest went through each station and then related the particular characteristic of love in numerical order, it continued to amaze me how incredibly connected this passage was to the moment we will be living through today on Good Friday.
Let’s bring our focus for a moment to the moment of the Crucifixion, the 11th Station. At this point it would seem that Christ has gone through absolutely everything; from mockery and spitting, to beating and whipping to the point where His body was at it’s limits of strength and survival. What more could there be? And yet, there is still one more thing that awaits Him: the moment of crucifixion. The 11th quality of love that we find in St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians is “[Love] bears all things” (1 Cor 13:7). Even when it seems like Christ has reached His limit and He is barley struggling to go forward, He still shows us that He will go even further. If there is a limit somewhere, He will go that extra step past it. Christ didn’t just allow Himself to be mocked, He went further and allowed Himself to suffer for us. Christ didn’t just allow Himself to suffer, He went further and allowed Himself to die for us. Christ didn’t just die for us, He went even further and rose again so that we may be able to rise again with Him one day.
As we meditate on the passion of Our Lord today, ask yourself this question: “Do I put limits on my love towards others? Do I say that I will only love this much, but won’t go past this line?” My dear readers, Christ’s love at the moment of His crucifixion shows us that if there is a limit somewhere, He will go beyond it. It is not something we can do on our own, we are too weak. But it is a grace we can ask for from the one who IS able to go past these limits.
Ask for the love to go that extra step forward, because Love can bear all things.
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