Summary: Let us pray fervently and carry our cross with Jesus
Introduction: For those who are on the road to salvation, the cross is power of God (1 Cor. 1:18). A true disciple is called to glory in the cross (Gal 6:14). We have to listen to the Lord who calls us to renounce ourselves, carry our crosses daily and follow him. If we want to persevere and be successful in our life of discipleship, we need to imitate Jesus who shed tears and prayed to the Father during his moment of intense agony (Heb 5:7). So, let us carry our cross with Him. Let us pray fervently that we may be faithful till the end as his true disciples.
1. Let us pray that we may become more understanding towards our neighbours.
Lord, you are the just one, yet you are judged by the unjust. You who once challenged the people to convict you of sin (Jn. 8:46) have become the victim of false accusation.
We who condemn the weaknesses of our neighbours, seldom look at ourselves. We consider even the good qualities of others as defects; on the other hand we justify even our defects as good qualities. Like the Pharisee, we believe ourselves to be blameless and drub the whole world as tax collectors. Like Martha we are frustrated and get angry with those who sit at your feet and listen to your word (Lk 10:40). Sometimes, we want to curtail the good things others do in your name. Like Simon, we not only while away our time ignoring our responsibility, but also fail to appreciate those who love you more. Like Judas we pretend to be concerned about the poor and criticize those who express their love and gratitude to you through their good deeds. Lord you who are going to come in power and might to judge the living and the dead, you understand our thoughts from afar and know every detail of our conduct . Help us to accept and understand our brothers and sisters with all their defects and goodness.
2. Let us pray that we may carry the Cross with Him.
Lord, they caught you like a thief. They abused you, spat on you, crowned you with thorns and mocked at you. You were subjected to unjust condemnation and a cross is laid on you. But you wish to fulfil the will of your Father who rejoices in you; you want to complete the work entrusted to you by Him. Therefore, with joy and courage you accept the Cross that is laid on you. You the Good Shepherd, are ready to lay down your life for us the sheep; no one can take away your life. You willingly give it so that we may have life. Lord, you invite us to deny ourselves and carry the Cross daily and follow you; here we come to do your will. May we carry our daily crosses willingly, that we may have life and give life to those who depend on us.
3. Let us pray that we may lift up those who have fallen :
Lord, you walk towards Calvary with so much difficulty. You did not eat and sleep for quite some time now; you are so tired and you fall down unable to bear the burden of the cross. It is not merely the wooden cross that pushes you down as much as the ingratitude of those who have benefited by your ministry and the infidelity of those disciples who have been trained by you. Judas loved money more than you; while his lips called you “master” and kissed you, his heart was enslaved to thirty silver coins. For Peter, saving his life became more important than denying you. Our ingratitude and unfaithfulness are the cause for so many people to fall. We have through our conduct disappointed our parents who gave us life, our teachers who enabled us to grow in knowledge and so many other well wishers who have great hope in us. Have mercy on us Lord! . Forgive us for the times we have denied and betrayed our loved ones. May we not be responsible for the fall of any; may we instead lift up through our love and concern those who have fallen.
4. Let us pray that we may become true disciples like Blessed Virgin Mary.
Lord, it is not by chance that you meet your Mother on the way to Calvary . Right from the day she said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to your word", you are the centre of her life. She lives for you and with you. She conceived you in her heart, before she conceived you in her womb. She listened to your word and practised it, and thus became an excellent example for us all. She rushed to help those who were in need. She prayed without ceasing. She sang the praises of the Almighty. She was thrilled to listen to your preaching and to see the signs you worked. As one who fulfills your will, she participates in your passion as the first and the complete disciple. She drinks your cup to the dregs. Lord, thank you for giving us your mother as our example and as our intercessor; help us to become good and faithful disciples like her.