Fourth Sorrowful Mystery
Jesus Carries His Cross
Anyone who has studied at Holy Cross Seminary in New Zealand will recognise this marble statue of Jesus taking up his cross. For the century until 1999 the statue faced down the driveway at the Mosgiel seminary site. When the seminary was re-sited to Ponsonby in Auckland, the statue was given prominent placement in the heart of the new seminary complex.
While the Good Friday suffering and death of Jesus was an actual event in history. as we pray this Mystery of the Rosary let’s ensure that we don’t make the mistake of reducing the life, death and resurrection of Jesus to a past event, inventing applications for our own twenty-first century lives.
The death and resurrection of Jesus is much more than an historical moment with contemporary relevance. Before the death and resurrection of Jesus there was no founded hope for joy beyond suffering or for life beyond death. For us today, because of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, suffering and death is our pathway to life.
The one who takes up the cross is aware that the only other option is to endure an existence of escapism or apathy. Failure to uplift the cross and to carry it is to become preoccupied by it, falling victim to an otherwise justified fear of this instrument of torture, and all the struggles represented by the cross.
The cross-bearer has embarked on the journey of life with Christ. The cross-bearer is a Christ-bearer, and is able to walk erect with Christ in confident and fearless hope.