Saturday, 23 February 2008

The Seventh Station, Jesus Falls for the Second Time.

Halfway through and we fall. Any great task seems onerous once begun, how many dreams have we already fulfilled in our lives? From the early childhood dreams of having enough money to buy all the sweets we want - and now we have, we find that we do not actually want that many sweets - to hopes for jobs or promotion. 'If only I was able to do THAT!' We say, but once we study and are finally offered the dream job, or position, we find that there is another dream above that and the work is often onerous and becomes dull when repeated. The bigger a house we buy, the more it costs to furnish and heat and then the smaller it seems compared to others in our new upmarket area. So we may fall, into the traps of despair, avarice or jealousy, or we may give up completely, unable or unwilling to complete the next stage of what can seem like a ratrace, but in fact is the using of our life in the way in which it has been given to us, which is Holy and right. But like Christ, we must get up and continue because we know that there is more and that there is a point in continuing.

Put next to His trials, ours may seem very trivial, but that is not to say that they are unimportant. We are children of God, in whatever state of life we are in, called to bear witness wherever we are. We do not all have to be Monastics or missionaries, or aid workers or runners of many fund raising marathons. God knows us all by name and knows what we can bear and what we are capable of. I, for instance, would be a hopeless missionary, forever wanting a shower and clean clothes, but posing in a muddy cassock for the cameras. What is important is to soldier on, carrying the burden we are given as though it is a gift, walking in the light of Christ. This station is an example to us, to get up and keep going, even when things seem impossible, be that in family life, our faith or work. Don't give up, for at the end is the blessed light of the Easter dawn.

V. I am become a worm and no man.

R. A very scorn of men and the outcast of the people.

Let us pray.

O God, who in the humility of thy Son hast raised up a broken world: grant unto thy faithful people perpetual gladness: that they whom thou hast delivered from the peril of eternal death may be brought to the fruition of everlasting joys; through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Of your charity, pray for the souls of Arthur and Margaret Bootham.