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Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
By Cackie Upchurch, Former Director, Little Rock Scripture Study
A broken man, arrested and held for questioning, beaten and whipped and condemned is now carrying his cross through the dusty streets of Jerusalem. Perhaps we watch from the edges of a simple shop or shield our child while the man and his guards pass through the area. This scene is a veiled threat to others who would challenge the authorities of the time. "Don't let this happen to you!" Perhaps we enter the scene as one of the guards, fulfilling the duty of punishing a criminal and upholding the law of the land. Our posture communicates authority and self-assumed decency. "This would never happen to me!" Perhaps we come as one of Jesus' close companions or even as his mother. His bloody body and stooped frame call out to us to relieve his burden, to spirit him away from the gawking bystanders and prevent his crucifixion. "This can't be happening to him!" But it did happen to him. And he was not a victim. Jesus took up the cross. The hypocrisy and injustice he identified were written on that cross, as was the violence and prejudice he came to erase. He carried it with loving purpose.