Friday, the Way of the Cross
Friday, August 19, 2011
The Stations of the Cross are always a solemn evening at WYD. Things are more somber and meditative. Tonight, groups of young people, representative of various sufferings or difficulties, carried the WYD pilgrim cross to each of the stations. The stations, or Los Pasos (large figures depicting the passion), individually come from different parts of Spain. Some are many years old and are quite large and difficult to move, yet every Holy Week, the people go in procession with them around their respective cities. At this WYD, it is the first time they are all brought together.

These stations are emblematic of the rich Christian patrimony of Europe, and Pope Benedict is trying to awaken it. There is such a momentum from the past that it seems that it just needs someone to breathe some life into it. Clearly, the youth have their part in evangelizing the culture. They capture the attention of modernity, and they witness to it by their lives of faith.

I was also struck by the beauty of the Via Crucis, this evening. The tremendous choir and beautiful sculptures filled the senses and touched the heart. I was also struck by the calm and quiet of the crowd. Jumbotron screens are set up so that everyone can see and hear the reflections on the stations, and they were quite beautiful.

The cross is the symbol of faith for us. It tells what Jesus did for us, how he loves us. It speaks to us in our search for meaning of our own personal sufferings. It shows us Gods love for us, and gives us the assurance of the forgiveness of our sins. The cross is so commonplace to us that we sometimes lose sight of its meaning. Devotions, like we had tonight, make it real and remind us of the gift of salvation.

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