O Christ!Abandoned and betrayed even by your own and sold for next to nothing.
Judged by sinners, handed over by those in Authority.
Suffering in the flesh, crowned with thorns and clothed in purple. O Christ!
Mocked and mercilessly nailed to the Cross.
Rent by the lance that pierced your heart.
Dead and buried, you who are the God of life and of existence.
Our only Savior, we turn to you this year too with eyes lowered in shame and
hearts filled with hope:
all the scenes of devastation, destruction and drowning that have become a
normal part of our lives;
the innocent blood shed daily of women, children, migrants and people
persecuted because of the color of their skin or their ethnic and social
diversity or because of their faith in You;
the too many times that, like Judas and Peter, we have sold you and betrayed
you and left you alone to die for our sins, fleeing like cowards from our
our silence before injustices; for our reticence in giving and greed in
grabbing and conquering; for our high pitched defense of our interests and
timid defense of others'; for our alacrity in following the path of evil and
apathy when it comes to following the path of good;
all the times that we Bishops, priests, consecrated men and women have been a cause
of scandal and wound to your body, the Church; for having forgotten our first
love, our initial enthusiasm and total availability, letting our hearts and our
shame Lord, but our hearts also feel nostalgia for the confident hope that you
will not treat us according to our merits but solely according to the abundance
of Your mercy; that our betrayal does not diminish the immensity of your love;
your maternal and paternal heart does not forget us because of the hardness of
hope that our names are etched on your heart and that we are set in the pupil
of your eyes;
that your Cross may transform our hardened hearts into hearts of flesh that are
able to dream, to forgive and to love; that it may transform this dark night of
your Cross into the brilliant dawn of your Resurrection;
that your faithfulness is not based on our own;
that the hosts of men and women who are faithful to your Cross may continue to
abide in fidelity, just as yeast gives flavor and as light reveals new horizons
in the body of our wounded humanity;
that your Church will seek to be the voice that cries in the wilderness of
humanity in order to prepare the way for your triumphant return, when you will
come to judge the living and the dead;
that good will be victorious despite its apparent defeat!
Jesus! Son of God, innocent victim of our ransom, before your royal banner,
before the mystery of your death and glory, before your [executioner's]
scaffold, we kneel in shame and hope and we ask that you bathe us in the blood
and water that flowed from your lacerated heart; to forgive our sins and our
We ask you
to remember our brethren crushed by violence, indifference and war;
We ask you
to break the chains that keep us imprisoned in our selfishness, our willful
blindness and, in the vanity of our worldly calculations.
O Christ! We
ask you to teach us never to be ashamed of your Cross, not to exploit it but to
honor and worship it, because with it You have shown us the horror of our sins,
the greatness of your love, the injustice of our decisions and the power of
your mercy. Amen.
- Pope Francis, Prayer at Way of the
Cross at the Colosseum on Good Friday,
Used with Permission. © LIBRERIA EDITRICE VATICANA