Two young people from Lebanon wrote the meditations for the Via Crucis of Good Friday, to be led by the Pope in the Colosseum of Rome.
As reported in January, Benedict XVI, through the Secretariat of State, entrusted the task of the meditations to Cardinal Béchara Boutros Raï, patriarch of Antioch. Under the patriarch’s guidance, two youth were selected to write the texts.
Benedict’s choice was made in memory of his Sept. 14-16, 2012, trip to Lebanon, and as an invitation to the whole Church to keep the Middle East in prayer.
“Thus in the Flavius amphitheater Christianity will come to know the injustices, the divisions among Christians, fundamentalism, and the violence that tears apart the southern peoples, but also the sufferings and ills of the whole of humanity,” reflected a report on Vatican Radio.
The texts, which will soon be published fully by the Vatican, appeal for prayers for those who, imitating Pilate “use their authority in the service of injustice and trample on man’s dignity and his right to life.” For those who believe that they “can replace God and determine on their own what good and evil are, ” doing this “in the name of reason, of power and of money.”
It also mentions the “blind secularism that suffocates the values of faith and morality in the name of an alleged defense of man,” and the “violent fundamentalism which takes as pretext the defense of religious values.”
Also the invitation to look at Christ who has identified himself with the weak, not forgetting because of this, the humiliated suffering peoples “in particular those of the martyred East, indicating that with Him they can carry their own cross of hope.”
In the XII station, which recalls the death of Jesus on the Cross, life in Christ is exalted and an appeal is made to pray for those who promote abortion and euthanasia “so that they will be committed to building the civilization of life and love.”
An appeal is also made to respect religious liberty so that “the different religions can come together to serve the common good and to contribute to the development of every person in building the society.”
And in the women of Jerusalem they will see the women of today wounded in their dignity who suffer violence because of discriminations.
In Christ’s three falls they recall the wounds of the division in the Church. And, in the Deposition of Jesus, is the great opening to hope especially for those who seek the meaning of life, so that they will believe that Christ conquered death and sin.