1. The Agony of Jesus
Love is suffering as a child.
“Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou wilt.” Mk 14, 36
Abba, “Daddy,” - so Jesus prayed in the face of the most terrible suffering.
The adult Jesus had still his child's heart.
All things are possible to you. – The child’s trust is unlimited.
Remove this cup from me - The child is afraid of suffering. His whole being revolts against suffering, because we are not created for suffering, but for JOY.
Yet not what I will, but what thou wilt. - Child-like surrender is victorious.
Jesus, I feel it: So it is right. So we too should behave toward suffering. Make our hearts like yours, so that in the face of suffering these words come over our lips and we can speak with childlike confidence: Our Father...
2. The scourging of Jesus
Love is vulnerable.
Then Pilate took Jesus and scourged him. Jn 19,1
Jesus receives the first wounds. Jesus is injured.
I too, have been injured in the past and I have taken it badly. Perhaps I am still grudging. Do I forget that I have also injured others? Do I forget that not all hurts must come from others, because I can hurt also myself by doing something wrong or by mistake?
Jesus, you have the injuries inflicted to you patiently endured because you have been strengthened by an angel sent from whom who will strengthen us too when we pray to him: Our Father...
3. The crowning of Jesus
Love is suffering; most of all God, Love itself.
“Here is the man!” Jn 19,5
See what hatred, scorn, cruelty – all forms of evil - have made with this man! All the wickedness of the world has been discharged to this single person. And this man, this man of sorrows... was GOD!
O Jesus, what love!
People wonder at the suffering in this world: How can there be a loving God? - and fall into doubt or godlessness. Here, before the raging pain of the bloody beaten, mocked God, any plaint, any doubts must dumb.
No, you are not a God who looks from heaven impassible on the suffering of us humans: In Jesus, you have taken all the misery and all the pain on yourself. You do not leave us alone in suffering and death because you are our Father.
In humble, grateful love, let us pray: Our Father...
4. The carrying of the Cross
Love is willing to take upon himself suffering for his beloved.
“If any man would come after me, let him deny himself , and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Lk 9,23
Therefore, the disciples of Jesus overcome their selfishness and accept bravely suffering and tribulations of every day for the love of God and the others.
"How sweet is the way of the Cross, after you walked on it for us!" so speak the saints, the great lovers.
Jesus, I want to be your disciple and follow you, but my suffering is still so bitter for me. That shows me how small and weak my love for you still is. This is my greatest suffering. So let me suffer, at least, in humility, as unworthy to suffer something for you who have suffered so much for me.
Yes, Jesus, all with you and all for you, and for the eternal joy of my brothers and sisters, so that the Father's infinite love may be revealed, to whom we pray: Our Father...
5. The Crucifixion
Love does not accuse but excuses and forgives.
"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Lk 23, 3
O Jesus, who has suffered more injustice than you? Could there be a more evil act than the murder of God by us guilty humans?
Nevertheless you prayed for your tormentors and excused them.
How can I still hold grudges against somebody and blame him! With you I will pray to the one whose forgiveness I myself need and say with humility: Our Father...