The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery

by Fr. Francis Martin

The condemned man
carried the cross beam of his cross,
the upright beam awaited him
at the place of execution.

There was a scribbled plaque
around his neck
with the charge against him.

He walked through the town
naked or nearly so.
Some jeered,
some turned away in fear,
some tried to go on with business as usual;
some few, usually women,
had the courage to approach the poor man
and offer some solace.

It was there, perhaps
that you first saw Mary,
your Mother
to whom you would confide
John and the Church
when from the cross you spoke to them.

You passed many that day Jesus
and yet we know the name of only one,
Simon of Cyrene
who was obliged
to carry the cross beam with you.

Imagine his surprise
to find himself a disciple
almost despite himself,
taking us his cross,
your cross,
and walking after you.

Do what it takes, Jesus,
to make us disciples.

You still walk in our midst
carrying your cross,
may we pick it up
and carry it with all the poor,
the marginalized,
the frightened and the sick.
Then our name too
will be somehow in the Gospel.

   

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