The First Station - Jesus is condemned to death.

Photo by Benjamin Lowy / Corbis

We gratefully remember and praise you, Jesus,
because your life teaches us how to live as your disciples.

After you have been taken into custody, Jesus, by the Roman occupation forces, you are whipped, crowned with thorns and derided mercilessly. Though wrongfully accused you absorb the condemnation of political authority and the approving nods and ridiculing shouts of your own people. No one speaks up for you!
Revenge is in vogue when prisoners are captured by the military. Just being corralled and detained before questioning is traumatic. While being questioned, the prisoner is at the mercy of the interrogator who most often is at liberty to use varied forms of psychological and physical pressure to extract information. Beyond those dehumanizing tactics, five years ago the U.S. deported Afghan prisoners – some as young as 14 and 15 years-of-age - thousands of miles away from Afghanistan to the American naval base in Guantanamo, Cuba, to endure not only imprisonment without legal representation but also the excruciating treatment of confinement to cages while shackled and with no opportunity to communicate with each other, let alone their families. They have been judged and found guilty without trial. No one speaks up for them!
As long as we remain sheep, we overcome. Even though we may be surrounded by a thousand wolves, we overcome and are victorious. But as soon as we are wolves, we are beaten: for then we lose the support from the Shepherd who feeds not wolves but only sheep.
– John Chrysostom