The Second Station - Jesus accepts his cross.

Photo by Warren Zinn / Army Times / Corbis
We gratefully remember and praise you, Jesus,
because your life teaches us how to live as your disciples.

You have, Jesus, with us in mind absorbed all the humiliation and violence begun when humanity initiated cruelty as a means of dominating others and implementing control over them. War seems to always find means to justify some violent end – and to declare heroes in conquest and killing. You put the lie to that philosophy in accepting your cross and making nonviolence the only way to peace.
There are noble moments in war when individuals sacrifice their lives to save others. There are countless testimonies of such goodness amid the hellish mayhem of grenade, mortar and rifle fire. But such heroism is also evident in natural cataclysms and accidental mishaps. A civilized people do not require war in which to exemplify heroic behavior. Such energy can be channeled into social justice endeavors like ameliorating hunger and poverty, advocating for wrongfully incarcerated individuals and coming to the aid of disasters’ victims.
Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometime hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism…
- Martin Luther King, Jr.