During the Lenten season, the Pastoral Team of the Chatham Catholic Family of Parishes are reflecting on the last 7 Words of Christ and praying the Stations of the Cross as a way to open all of our hearts to the love and mercy of Christ.  Reflect on these words and walk with Christ bearing each of our crosses daily. 

“Forgive them, for they do not know
what they are doing.”

This first session is lead by Fr. John who introduces the series and begins with this first word—Jesus, in his darkest hour and in the midst of great pain, ridicule and rejection—still lives the Gospel by offering forgiveness.  How can we do the same in the midst of our pain and suffering?

“Truly I tell you, today you will be
with me in Paradise.”

This second session is lead by Deacon Morgan reflecting on the second word—not only is Jesus mocked and condemned by the Romans, scribes and Pharisees, but by a criminal crucified with him.  Jesus continues to offer mercy, love and hope in the midst of his own personal pain and suffering.

“Woman, here is your son.  Then he said to 
the disciple, here is your mother.”

This third session is lead by Fr. Robert Weaver reflecting on the third word—at the cross Jesus concerned about her mother and the Church, forms a bond that has spanned the generations.  Mary is our mother and Mother of the Church and as faithful disciples we are called to seek the guidance, grace and love of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“My God, my God why have you forsaken me.”

This fourth session is lead by Fr. Dariusz Lewandowski reflecting on the fourth word—at the cross Jesus in his pain and agony cries out to the Father in heaven referencing part of Psalm 22.  This Messianic psalm is a lament but also a declaration of a universal dependence upon the Lord.  When Jesus cried out the first verse of the psalm, he was also calling out his dependence upon God.

“I am thirsty.”

This fifth session is lead by Ali Chinnick, Pastoral Minister,  reflecting on the fifth word—Jesus on the cross thirsts not for drink but for justice, love, mercy and light in our world.  Christ calls us to not be satisfied with our own lives but to thirst for grace and peace in our world.  May we always be ready to sacrifice and serve those who are in need.