The Way of the Cross led by Pope Francis around Rome’s ancient Colosseum this upcoming Good Friday invites us to reflect on the current economic crisis and its dire consequences, on the suffering of migrants and on the evils that tear many young lives apart . The texts of the meditations, which will be published Tuesday by the Vatican publishing house Libreria Editrice Vaticana, were written by Msgr. Giancarlo Bregantini, Archbishop of Campobasso – Boiano in southern Italy.
In his meditations for the 14 stations of the Lord’s Passion, Archbishop Bregantini captures the dramatic situations that have traumatized so many in today’s world, including those in his own southern Italy.
In the meditations, we are called to contemplate in the wood of Christ’s cross the sins of man and injustices towards our fellow human beings: the economic crisis with its serious social consequences such as job insecurity, unemployment, financial speculation , the suicides of business leaders, and corruption.
Archbishop Bregantini brings us face to face with the dramatic lives of immigrants, the wounds of women who are victims of violence, the trauma of abused children , the pain of mothers who have lost their children to war, or to drugs or alcohol abuse.
Archbishop Bregantini draws again on his own region of southern Italy where children have died from cancer caused by toxic waste ,and asylum seekers who die trying to make the treacherous crossing from Africa in the hopes of finding a new home.
Christ’s own suffering, he tells us, resembles that of prisoners in overcrowded prisons bogged down by too much bureaucracy and a slow justice system and those in prisons where torture is sometimes still practiced.
We are called to create “bridges of solidarity ” and to “overcome the fear of isolation , and to recover an appreciation for the political” so as to seek common solutions to social problems .
Just as Jesus fell three times on the way to Golgotha, he shows us that we must meet these challenges knowing God is there for us. But we must get back on our feet and help others up in solidarity with each other. Only through helping each other can we hope to bear the weight of the cross.
Holy Week is a good occasion to go to confession and to take up the right path again.