THE FIRST STATION: Jesus is Condemned to Die

April 11, 2006

The First Station commemorates Jesus being sentenced to death before the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate.  As you say this devotion, meditate upon all those throughout God’s creation who are sentenced to die each day because of extreme poverty.  The many facets of extreme poverty include income poverty, hunger, conflict, disease, environmental degradation, a lack of basic human rights, and structural barriers to justice such as crushing debt burdens throughout the developing world.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) recognize that just as humanity is fundamentally interconnected, so is the phenomenon of global poverty and the responses to it.   The world has been slow to embrace the MDGs – which envision cutting extreme poverty in half by 2015 – but there is still time.   The world possesses the resources, strategies, and capacity to eradicate extreme poverty.  It has yet to build the political will.

Image: Christ before Pilate 
TINTORETTO - from Sala dell'Albergo, Scuola di San Rocco, Venice


Officiant:              We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you:
People                 Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.  

Officiant:              As soon as it was morning, the chief priests, with the elders and scribes, and the whole council, held a consultation; and they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him to Pilate. And they all condemned him and said, "He deserves to die." When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. Then he handed Jesus over to them to be crucified.

Officiant:              God did not spare his own Son:
People:                  But delivered him up for us all.

Officiant:              Let us pray.

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.

People:                  Amen

All:                         Holy God,
Holy and Mighty,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy upon us.