For the past few years my church has had a great Good Friday tradition: “Social Justice” Stations of the Cross. This involves the confirmation class narrating the stations of the cross along with reflections on the lives of people of faith who have served humanity in some great way. The people included were: St. Padre Pio, Mike Piazza, Martin Luther King Jr, Immaculate Conception Shelter(in Hartford), Cardinal Roger Mahony, Jean Donovan, Dorothy Day, Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela, Sister Helen Prejean, Archbishop Oscar Romero, Gaylord Nelson and Mahatma Ghandi.
The last time I attended this powerful celebration of Our Lord’s Passion and death was four years ago when I was a senior in high school. Now, as a senior in college I am struck by the difference in my life then and now. I have become such a different person than I was four years ago. Yet, I am at a similar point – I am graduating and wondering what life will hold next. The words I wrote in my journal that night are still the same ones that are on my heart today.
It was extremely moving and I felt such a strong call from the Lord. I know deep within me that this is what he is calling me to do – to go out and help the poor, starving people of the world. I want to spread His love and shout His praises from the rooftops. I want to be a light to the world. In my mind I can imagine how I can achieve this but God is going to guide my footsteps.
At that point, I couldn’t begin to imagine where he might lead me. Even now, I’m waiting and discerning how he wants me to spend this next year. All of these amazing people who spent their lives serving others give us a glimpse of the things that God can do when we surrender everything to Him.
I’ll leave you with the challenging and thought-provoking questions that accompanied each station, and my favorite song about the crucifixion.
Jesus is Condemned to Death: Do you stand up for your faith or deny your faith?
Jesus Takes Up His Cross: If you were put on trial for being a Christian today, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
Jesus Falls the First Time: Can you expand your circle of love to include all of humanity?
Jesus Meets His Mother: How many times do you blame others for their condition? Have you ever sad; he’s homeless because he’s lazy?
Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus: Do you reap the benefits of migrant workers in the United States yet never think of how our government treats them?
Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus: Have you ever looked inside your own heart and asked how can I respond to the tears of the suffering children of the world?
Jesus Falls a Second Time: Do you care more about things than people?
Jesus Speaks to the Women of Jerusalem: How willingly do you help others when you are asked to do so?
Jesus Falls a Third Time: Do you make room for God in the midst of your busy life?
Jesus Stripped of His Clothes: Can you let go of revenge and grudges and forgive those who have hurt you?
Jesus is Nailed to the Cross: Do you condemn the sin or the sinner?
Jesus Dies on the Cross: In order for evil to prevail, all it takes is for good people to do nothing. Do you do nothing?
Jesus is Removed from the Cross: What can you do today and everyday to care for God’s creation?
Jesus is Placed in the Tomb: Can you respond without hateful words or violence to those who anger or persecute you?