"I determined that while I was with you I would speak of nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified." —1 Corinthians 2:2
"It is precisely in this that God proves His love for us: that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." —Rm 5:8
Jesus: Peace, brothers and sisters. Look at My hands, feet, and side. See the wounds. My body is glorified, but the wounds will always be there (Jn 20:19-20).
Disciple: Jesus, my hands tremble when I touch Your wounds.
Respond by kissing a crucifix.
"I have been crucified with Christ, and the life I live now is not my own; Christ is living in me. I still live my human life, but it is a life of faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." —Gal 2:19-20
Jesus: Children of the cross, you have been baptized into My death (Rm 6:3). You live in My death. It is the atmosphere in which you live and breathe. Living in My death gives you life (2 Cor 4:11).
Disciple: Jesus, how can I love You? All I have to give is my life. I give it freely.
Respond by singing to Jesus, "When I Behold the Wondrous Cross," "Near the Cross," or a similar song.
"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires." —Gal 5:24
Jesus: Children of the cross, as the wounds never disappear from My body, so may they be forever impressed on your minds. Are you willing to be branded with the marks of the cross? (Gal 6:17)
Disciple: Jesus, I'm afraid of the cross. I run away from it and You daily (Lk 9:23). Mary, keep me near the cross (Jn 19:25).
Jesus: When "you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim...My death until I return" (see 1 Cor 11:26).
Respond by reading John 19. Don't be ashamed to cry.
"Unfortunately, many go about in a way which shows them to be enemies of the cross of Christ. I have often said this to you before; this time I say it with tears." —Phil 3:18
Jesus: I forgive you for your adultery with the world. Come back to Me. Repent.
Disciple: Jesus, when You use the term "enemies of the cross," it upsets me. Surely it isn't that bad to be "set upon the things of this world"? (Phil 3:19)
Respond by praying part or all of the fourteen Stations of the Cross.
"It pleased God to make absolute fullness reside in Him and, by means of Him, to reconcile everything in His person, both on earth and in the heavens, making peace through the blood of His cross." —Col 1:19-20
Jesus: Child, I'm very serious about the cross. Don't make it meaningless through worldly thinking (1 Cor 1:17).
Disciple: Jesus, I see the cross is not merely a doctrine, but a bloody reality and a life-changing challenge. I choose today's cross and look for the grace to go a day at a time.
Respond by making the sign of the cross more slowly and prayerfully than ever before in your life.
"They laid hold of one Simon the Cyrenean who was coming in from the fields. They put a crossbeam on Simon's shoulder for him to carry along behind Jesus." —Lk 23:26
Jesus: Today is the day I died on the cross. It was "Good Friday" for you. I don't want even one person to miss out on the salvation accomplished on Calvary.
Disciple: Jesus, I'm beginning to understand that love is laying down our lives (1 Jn 3:16). Make me a Simon of Cyrene.
Respond by fasting each Friday.
"May I never boast of anything but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! Through it, the world has been crucified to me and I to the world." —Gal 6:14
Jesus: It's all about love, crucified love. Receive My love. My nail-scarred hands are outstretched for you.
Disciple: Jesus, I've prayed "The Way of the Cross" when I was growing up. Now I have decided to live "the way of the cross" and boast of it. Alleluia!
Respond by looking in silence at a picture of Jesus on the cross for three to five minutes. Ask God to help you do this daily (Jn 19:37).
Excerpts from Scripture are taken from The New American Bible, copyright 1970 by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C., and are used by permission of the copyright holder. All rights reserved.
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, July 13, 1995.
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati, July 25, 1995.
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com