Cardinal Zen's meditations for Good Friday

This year, the meditations for the Via Crucis at the Colosseum have been written by Cardinal Zen, the Bishop of Hong Kong. The Stations offer reflections on different moments in the passion of Our Lord but they do not correspond to the standard set that we usually have in Churches.

The meditations are illustrated by Chinese style pictures from the Archive of the General House of the Society of the Divine Word. The texts on the Vatican website are in Italian: I am sure these will all be translated in due course but here is one example.
Sixth Station
Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns

From the Gospel according to Mark 15, 15b.17-19

Pilate, having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.

And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on him. 18 And they began to salute him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" 19 And they struck his head with a reed, and spat upon him, and they knelt down in homage to him.

The scourging in use at that time was a terrifying punishment. The ghastly flagellum of the Romans tore the flesh to shreds. And the crown of thorns, as well as causing acute pain, also made a mockery of the kingship of the divine Prisoner as did the spitting and blows.

Fearsome tortures continue to emerge from the cruelty of the human heart - the psychological kind are not less tormenting than those that are physical - and the victims themselves often become the executioners. Are these sufferings without meaning?

No. Jesus, it is You who continue to accept and to sanctify all sufferings: those of the sick, of those who die of hardship, of all those who are discriminated against; but the sufferings which shine out among all these are those undergone for Your name.

Bless your Church through the sufferings of the martyrs; may their blood become the seed of new Christians. We firmly believe that even if they seem at the time to be completely defeated, their sufferings, will carry the true victory to your Church. O Lord, give constancy to our persecuted brothers.
H/T to Fr Z for the link.

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