A longstanding tradition during the Lenten season is to journey with Jesus on the Way of the Cross. Many churches pray through the Stations weekly throughout Lent. This is a practice in which the Church renounces and re-orders its rhythms into Christ. Those who go on this journey identify with Jesus in his agony, betrayal, accusation, denial, condemnation, mockery, abandonment, forsakenness and ultimately his death and burial. And if we are honest, we realize that we are the ones inflicting this pain upon him, joining with the crowd: "Crucify Him!"
The depictions in the video below come from John Paul II's Biblical Way of the Cross, which is a variation of the traditional Stations of the Cross. Michael O'Brien is the artist. I loved his work so much that back in 2009 when the booklet was first published by Ave Maria Press I contacted Mr. O'Brien and asked permission for our church to print and use his paintings in our worship space. He was incredibly generous to send me the digital files to enable us to do so!
The music in the video comes from the song "Mercy" by The Brilliance off of their self-titled record. At the end of the song is the beautiful (and eerie) refrain, "Kyrie eleison," which means "Lord, have mercy." I think it complements O'Brien's artwork nicely.
I invite you to take a few minutes to watch this video. As you're reflecting on this part of the story, consider your own participation in the death of Christ. How are you entering into the sufferings of Christ? What in your life needs to die? Who in your life are you inflicting with pain or even murdering in your heart? How can you take up your cross and follow Jesus more closely this season?