The First Station: Who are we condemning?

February 22, 2010 § 2 Comments

This first step on Jesus’ journey to the cross might be the most disturbing: we’re forced to confront the finality of Jesus’ condemnation and consider our role in this scene. While Pilate’s name is forever associated condemning Jesus to death, the mocking crowd is right there too. “Crucify him, crucify him” (John 19:6) they scream.

Who is our crowd condemning today? Who have we given up on and handed over? Are we raising our voices with the rest of the group? Pray for illegal immigrants, those who have lost their jobs, people who can’t read, children forced to labor in factories.

It is easy for the Stations of the Cross to become rote. These familiar stories can become almost transparent. It would be easy to look right through Lent to Easter. As we begin this walk of the stations again, pray that each of us finds something new.

– Chris Phillips

Image: Sacro Monte di Varallo, Valsesia, Italy via Renzodionigi


§ 2 Responses to The First Station: Who are we condemning?

  • Thought provoking meditation, and a great blog. Thanks very much!
    Mother Nancy+

  • Anahi Galante says:


    Your questions and the use of the word “crowd” in both, the passage and your meditation, remind me how much I struggle with the word “crowd;” because English is not my first language and, also, because it echoes your call to pay attention to the current imperatives of social justice.

    Every time I read this passage, I find myself thinking that back then like nowadays, there were different types of crowds and that the context of the crowd screaming “crucify him, crucify him” does not refer to the majority of the people who received Jesus singing Hosannas on Palm Sunday. The crowd who persisted in crucifying him was the in-crowd composed of some Romans and some non-Roman leaders over-powered by the Romans. After all, crucifixion was a Roman death. Then there is also the dismantled crowd of the disciples, crowd nevertheless, and within the majority of people observing along the lines of the Via Dolorosa they are different crowds: those engaged in mocking, those who might say something here or there so none would accused them of political sedition and those who mourned silently their last hope of liberation being defeated.

    The crowd who screams louder appears to be getting the most microphone/TV screen/YouTube exposure, they are the ones delivering the noise that is being heard while there is yet another crowd afraid of losing their privileges not willing to stand up for what it is right. Here also there is a crowd that silently follows.

    Thank you my brother for helping us see this reality and for bringing our attention to the many forgotten crowds living in the margins because our silence or our going along places them there.


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