Tolton Catholic Stations of the Cross


IMG_4946Written by Tolton Catholic High School Students during Lent 2018

Verse and response before the reflection and challenge for each station:

V: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,

R: Because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world

Opening Prayer

O Father, who willed to save mankind by the death of your Son on the cross, grant that we who have known on earth the mystery of his love,  may be his witnesses, in our words and actions, in our daily lives,before all those whom you place on our path. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


First Station: Jesus is Condemned to Death

Written by members of the House of Maximilian

Reflection:

Jesus really did nothing wrong and did not hurt anyone.  He did his best to save them. I would want to say something to save Jesus from death but at the same time, I feel too weak to do that.  Only because I feel like I could lose my life along with Jesus. I am sorry that I did not say something at the time, but I was so afraid for my life.  How can I make that up to you, Jesus?

Challenge:

When there is someone that needs our help today we should stand up for them and do the right thing.  Don’t follow the crowd.


Second Station: Jesus Carries His Cross

Written by members of the House of Ethelbert

Reflection (from the perspective of Mary):

I watch helplessly as my son begins His painful, long, and undeserving journey unto death.  I can hear the crowd cheering as my son is tortured. Why? Why do they cheer? There is no one deserving of this, least of all my only son.  They lay the heavy and rough wood across His shoulders, and its as if I can feel it upon my own. His suffering is my suffering. His legs shake as He takes the first step towards Calvary; my heart breaks with each bloody footprint in the dust. I know God has a plan; He always does, but is this what He meant?

Challenge Question:

Have you ever felt pain for someone else?  How can you reach out to those close to you to help them bear their crosses?  Can you, like Mary, trust in God’s plan, despite lack of understanding?


Third Station: Jesus Falls the First Time

Written by members of the House of Xavier

Reflection:

The man they call Jesus is barely able to walk.  I can see why, for not only is he carrying the cross–probably heavier than he is, and made of rough wood–but he has also been whipped to the point where his back no longer even looks like human flesh.  He stumbles, but this time he cannot balance himself, and he collapses to the ground with the weight of the cross still on top of him. Many around me are yelling, jeering, and mocking, but I find myself unable to say anything.  I just stare, wondering what he will do next. Will he give in and stay there on the ground? Or will he get back up, continuing down the road to his own execution?

Challenge Question:

Jesus not only willingly took our heavy sins on the cross, but continues to mercifully take our sins and troubles today.  Do I give my sins and problems to Jesus, or do I hold tight to them? Do I feel like he can’t handle my sins and problems, or recognize that he is strong enough to take them all?


Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Mother

Written by members of the House of Gonzaga

Reflection:

As Jesus trudged to his death, while he was beaten and bloody, he came across his mother.  The woman who was without sin watched her beloved son walk on route to give his life for the very people who were about to kill him.  Mary trusted in God’s plan so much that she stepped aside to let her son die right in front of her. This 4th station proves the love as well as the pain that Mary endured, but also the faith that she showed on that horrible Good Friday.

Challenge Question:

Mary met Jesus on his way to Calvary.  However, Mary’s journey with Jesus did not end there. Mary stood at the foot of the cross and watched her son give his life.  Luke 1:45 says, “Blessed is she who believed.” Mary believed in God’s plan for her son. How much do you believe and trust in God? What would you be willing to do if God asked us? How much would you be willing to Sacrifice?


 

Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross

From the members of the House of Xavier

Reflection:

The fifth station explains how carrying the cross was a lot of work for one person alone, and of course the soldiers wanted Jesus to be alive and make it to calvary, where he was sentenced to die.  Since the cross was too heavy for Jesus alone, Simon was chosen out of the crowd to help him carry it, even though he knew he was helping Jesus make it to Calvary hill, where he would die upon this very cross that he carried up.  Simon knew what had to be done. Simon showed immense bravery in this act because through it, he risked being considered a criminal by associating with a man condemned to death.

Challenge Question:

How would you feel if you were taken from a crowd and forced to help a man carry his cross to his execution? Simon did not know Jesus, yet he picked up the cross and gave him the help he needed.  


 

Sixth Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

Written by members of the House of Xavier

Reflection:

As Jesus stumbles, Veronica wipes his face with her cloth, then Jesus leaves the imprint of his face on her cloth to remind her that He is always with her.  The imprint that He left with her is similar to the imprint that He left on our hearts, which reminds us that through all of our hardships, he is with us.

Challenge:

Part 1: Be like Veronica, and go out of your way to help someone that is struggling

Part 2: Whenever you find yourself in hard times, remind yourself that Jesus is always with you, no matter what.


Seventh Station: Jesus Falls the Second Time

Written by members of the House of Ethelbert

Reflection (from the perspective of a bystander):

Thousands of people were watching with different emotions as this man fell a second time. People were yelling and cursing at him to get back up.  I heard people mocking Him and saying things like, “If you are the true Son of God, get back up,” and “Call on God to help you.”

I couldn’t stand and watch any longer as he laid on the ground.  It was so hard to watch someone slowly die on the ground right in front of me.  I couldn’t express my emotions, or else I would have been persecuted. I had to join in and laugh, even though the internal pain of watching him grew stronger.

Challenge Questions:

  • Have you ever had to give into peer pressure or group mentality just to fit in, even when when it is wrong?
  • Have you ever felt powerless and felt you couldn’t do anything to help someone in need? How are you going to change that?
  • What can you do as a person to instill positive change in someone’s life?

Eighth Station: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

Written by members of the House of Sebastian

Reflection (from the perspective of the women of Jerusalem):

Jesus, you pass by us, the women of Jerusalem, as you bear the pain of the heavy cross.  We are sad, for we know you are innocent and misunderstood. Even in your suffering and agony, you stop to speak to us, and give us encouragement to bear this. Jesus, you took a moment to separate yourself from the pain in your life in order to help others in need.

Challenge Questions:

Do we often get too caught up in our own struggles that we forget the needs of those around us? How can we take the time to acknowledge others and out their needs before our own, as Jesus did on the cross and does for us ever so often?


Ninth Station: Jesus Falls the Third Time

Written by members of the House of Gonzaga

Reflection (from the perspective of St. John):

Jesus, your time on this earth is almost at an end.  Your journey to Calvary is tortuous, and so for a third time, You fall.  Soldiers scream at You and hit You with spears when you fall, and exhaustion threatens to keep you down.  Your feet are sliced open, Your back is covered with lash marks, Your hands are ridden with splinters, and Your forehead is pierced with thorns… Yet You gather Your strength and rise, ready to continue the march to Your death.  Lord, when I fall down and feel like I cannot continue on, help me remember Your example, and they way You gave up Your life for me.

Challenge Question:

Have you ever felt like you couldn’t continue on? Who inspired you to keep going?


Tenth Station: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

Written by members of the House of Blaise

Reflection (from the perspective of a bystander):

I knew this man wasn’t guilty, but I couldn’t bring myself to stop the torturing that was happening right in front of me.  I felt like I couldn’t move. Everytime I tried to speak up or give a hand, I found myself frozen. I saw them strip his clothes right off of him, leaving him cold, bare, and ashamed.  I know I should’ve done something to stop this innocent man from being treated like this, but I didn’t want to risk my own life for him.

Challenge Question:

Could you handle being unjustly treated like a criminal as Jesus was, even to the point of being stripped and sent to be nailed to a wooden cross?


Eleventh Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

Written by members of the House of Blaise

Reflection (from the perspective of St. John):

Nails driven into his hands and feet.  I could see the pain on his face but I couldn’t do anything to help him.  I looked up to see the sky blackening and storm clouds rolling in. The day turned cold and gray much like the emotions of everyone watching this horrific sight.  I began to pray. I prayed for my best friend’s suffering and I prayed God would make it stop but it just continued. I prayed no one else had to go through what Jesus did that day on Calvary Hill.

Challenge Question:

Could you imagine your best friend and leader experience great pain in front of you when you can’t do anything to help them?


Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross

Written by members of the House of Maximilian

Reflection:

Dear Jesus, As the sun beats down, scorching the Earth, you hang there on the Cross, drawing your final breaths.  All you have done your whole life is heal the sick and comfort the broken. Yet, in your final hours, all you receive is hatred and scorn.  But despite this, you continue to forgive the evil doers and love selfless. Finally, the hour of 3:00 arrives and you take your last breath.  In the act of saving us from sin and death, you die (please take a moment of silence).

Challenge Question:

On your ride home, turn off the music and reflect on Christ’s great act of selflessness, service, and love.


Thirteenth Station: Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross

Written by members of the House of Sebastian

Reflection (from the perspective of Mary, Mother of Jesus):

I’ve never known such pain until you were taken down and I held You in my arms.  Every scrape, hole, and blemish were not yours–they were all from others. Every cut was a sin that you healed for someone else.  I had to give up you, my son, so you could save the rest of the world. As much pain as it was for me to lose you… you are the Savior of the world.

Challenge Question:

Mary gave Jesus dignity by holding him in her arms; how will you restore someone’s dignity today?


 

Fourteenth Station: Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

Written by members of the House of Sebastian

Reflection (from the perspective of Jesus):

It is quiet now.  I lay in my tomb, placed there by the ones I love.  Though my physical pain is gone, theirs is greater than ever.  If only they knew what will happen… in a few days their sorrow will be put to rest.  In three days I will rise and conquer sin and death. I will bring new meaning to suffering and love.

Challenge Question:

Often times, it’s difficult to see past our current sorrows.  Today, how can you see the positive and joyful ways Jesus works in your life, even in the midst of the sorrow, pain, and fear?


 

Closing Prayer

Our Father…

Hail Mary…

Glory Be…

Lord Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you were drawn by the Father from the darkness of death to the light of a new life in glory. Grant that the sign of the empty tomb may speak to us and to future generations and become a wellspring of living faith, generous love, and unshakeable hope. To you, O Jesus, whose presence, hidden and victorious, fills the history of the world, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

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