2. Jesus Takes Up the Cross
Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
All: Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.
A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark 15:20
When they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak, and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.
Jesus Christ stands before soldiers who think they have complete power over him, while he is the One through whom "all things were made ... and without him was not anything made that was made" (Jn 1:3).
In every age, man has thought he could take the place of God and determine for himself what is good and what is evil (cf. Gen 3:5) without reference to his Creator and Saviour. He has thought himself omnipotent, capable of excluding God from his own life and from that of his peers, in the name of reason, power or money.
Today too, the world bows to realities that seek to expel God from human life, such as the blind secularism that suffocates the values of faith and morals in the name of an alleged defence of man; or the violent fundamentalism that claims to be defending religious values (cf. Ecclesia in Medio Oriente, 29).
who accepted humiliation
and stood alongside the weak,
we entrust to you
all who are humiliated and suffering,
especially those from the tormented East.
Grant that they may find in you
the strength to be able to carry
their Cross of hope with you.
We place into your hands
all who are lost,
so that, thanks to you,
they may find truth and love.