April 10, 2006
Walking the steps of Jesus
By Kristen Miller
During Lent, St. John’s Catholic Church in Darwin, along with other churches, celebrate the stations of the cross, which is a step-by-step account of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Father Pat Casey describes it as “walking the footsteps of Jesus,” from the time he was condemned until the time he was laid to rest.
The Catholic Church recognizes 14 stages of the cross, and a 15th, His resurrection.
The 14 stages are:
1. Jesus is condemned to death
2. Jesus takes up his cross
3. Jesus falls the first time
4. Jesus meets his afflicted mother
5. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross
6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
7. Jesus falls the second time
8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
9. Jesus falls a third time
10. Jesus is stripped of his clothes
11. Jesus is nailed to the Cross
12. Jesus dies on the Cross
13. The body of Jesus is taken down from the Cross
14. Jesus is laid in the tomb
Casey explained the five stages of death and dying which are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance, which is a psychological journey.
The stages of the cross are a spacial journey, and both experiences have a spiritual journey much the same, he said.
As one stands at the altar of St. John’s, the stations encompass the pews of the church.
Each station has its own significant meaning, which is told during the ceremony.
Jesus was made to carry his own cross and was then stripped of his garments.
Because of his exclamation of being king, His executors put a purple garment on him, which is a color that signifies royalty. They then placed a crown of thorns on His head and mocked him.
The Stations of the Cross were a way for the people to experience the steps Jesus took to his death.
Casey also explained how Jesus died on the cross from suffocation after being hung on the cross.
During this time, being crucified was the worst kind of punishment for criminals, he said.
The stages of the cross is symbolic, Casey explained.
“In order to get to resurrection, you have to go through suffering and death of this world in order to get the eternal world,” he said.
Many people ask, “Where did I come from? Where am I going? and Who am I?” and the way of the cross is how we get there, Casey explained.