Jesus walks with the Cross

Each of the previous six Good Fridays, a procession of grief and hope has walked with Jesus to sites of violence in Jersey City, remembering how the Passion of Christ connects with our present-day reality. This year we regretfully and wisely do that remembrance at home.

Of course, Jesus also remembers, and continues to walk with those who suffer.

The first station. He is condemned to death. Eleven days ago, a beloved child of God was killed at Triangle Park.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me,
from the words of my groaning?   Psalm 22:1

The next station. He falls the first time. Five days ago, a beloved child of God was shot and killed on Ocean Avenue, between Bidwell and Bayview.

O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
and by night, but find no rest.   Psalm 22:2

The next station. He falls the third time. Four days ago, a beloved child of God was shot and killed in the area of Martin Luther King Drive and Myrtle Avenue.

All who see me mock at me;
they make mouths at me, they shake their heads;
“Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver—
let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”   Psalm 22:7-8

The next station. She falls the third time. Nine days ago, a beloved child of God was shot at the corner of Martin Luther King Drive and Oak St. She died the next day. A man was wounded on the corner of Forrest St.

I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
it is melted within my breast;
my mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
you lay me in the dust of death.   Psalm 22:14-15

And the next station... well, doesn’t that have something to do with us?

How long, O Lord? You are always with those who fall. How long before others’ suffering becomes ours? How long before we care enough to intervene. How long before the fallen be lifted help, the broken be made whole, the world be healed?

But you, O Lord, do not be far away!
O my help, come quickly to my aid!
Deliver my soul from the sword...   Psalm 22:19-20

May God look with mercy upon this fallen world, and enable us to see the new life waiting to be born of our present travail.

How long, O Lord? How long?


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