Jesus Falls the First Time
The heavy cross cuts and tears into our Lord's shoulders.
The crowd has swollen into a multitude and the legionaries can scarcely contain the angry, surging mob which, like a river that has burst its banks, flows through the streets and alleyways of Jerusalem.
The worn-out body of Jesus staggers now beneath the huge cross. His most loving heart can barely summon up another breath of life for his poor wounded limbs.
To his right and left, our Lord sees the multitude moving around like sheep without a shepherd. he could call them one by one by their names - by our names. There they are, those who were fed at the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, those who were cured of their ailments, those he taught by the lakeside, on the mountain and in the porticoes of the Temple.
A sharp pain pierces the soul of Jesus; our Lord falls to the ground, exhausted.
You and I can say nothing: now we know why the cross of Jesus weighs so much. We weep over our wretched failings and also for the terrible ingratitude of the human heart. From the depths of our soul there comes an act of real contrition, which lifts us up from the prostration of sin. Jesus has fallen that we might get up: once and for all.