A Eucharistic Via Crucis, ideal for Lent but appropriate any time of the year. A plenary indulgence is granted to those who piously make the Way of the Cross.
By Tom HoopesThe same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner in the Eucharist
The Church teaches that “The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice … The same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner” in the Eucharist (CCC 1367).
Lord Jesus, as we pray your Stations of the Cross in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, help us enter more deeply into your life and death for all.
The First Station: Jesus Is Condemned by Pilate
“You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above.” (John 19:11)
Lord Jesus, you reminded Pilate that you are the great king who gave yourself into the hands of sinners. Now, Lord, in the Blessed Sacrament you have gone further: You have placed yourself at our disposal, putting yourself at the mercy of our freedom. Give us the grace to always treat you in the Blessed Sacrament with “respect, solemnity, and joy.” (CCC 1387)
The Second Station: Jesus Accepts His Cross
“No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.” (John 10:18)
Lord Jesus, you willingly took up your cross for us not just on Calvary but on the night before. As we remember at Mass: “At the time he was betrayed and entered willingly into his Passion, he took bread and, giving thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying … this is my body, which will be given up for you.” Through the gift of your Blessed Sacrament, give us the grace to accept the crosses of our lives as a sacrifice of gratitude and praise.
The Third Station: Jesus Falls for the First Time
“After this, many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him.” (John 6:66)
Lord Jesus, upon receiving the cross, you fell. Upon receiving your word about the Eucharist, many of your disciples fell away. As we remember your first fall, we ask your forgiveness for our own lack of faith in your Eucharist, and ask for the grace to keep close to the faith of Peter who stayed and believed, saying, “You have the words of eternal life.”
The Fourth Station: Jesus Meets his Mother
“Behold your mother.” (John 19:27)
Lord Jesus, Our Lady came to strengthen you on your Way of the Cross. She comes to strengthen us, also, when we receive you in your Blessed Sacrament, for “In the Eucharist the Church is as it were at the foot of the cross with Mary, united with the offering and intercession of Christ” (CCC 1370). Help us draw strength from your presence and her prayers.
The Fifth Station: Simon Helps Carry the Cross
“My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30)
Lord Jesus, you gave Simon the great grace of being allowed to join you in your sacrifice. You give us the same opportunity in the Eucharist. For, “The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 10: 16). As we participate in your sacrifice, increase the love in us which makes your yoke easy and your burden light.
The Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
“Charity covers up a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
Lord Jesus, Veronica, a model of charity, came forward from the crowd to console you, wiping the blood, sweat, and dirt from your face. In answer, you left her your image. We know that the Eucharist “strengthens our charity, which tends to be weakened in daily life; and this living charity wipes away venial sins” (CCC 1394). Lord, with your Blessed Sacrament, increase our love and leave your image on our soul.
The Seventh Station: Jesus Falls for the Second Time
“Could you not watch with me one hour?” (Matthew 26:40)
Lord Jesus, at your First Fall we remembered those who abandoned you when you announced the Eucharist. At your Second Fall we remember those who failed you after you instituted the Eucharist. You asked your apostles to stay awake with you, but they fell asleep instead. Forgive us for all the times we have taken your sacrament lightly, when we failed to visit you and received you without reverence.
The Eighth Station: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
“Do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.” (Luke 23:28)
Lord Jesus, you told the women of Jerusalem the true meaning of your sacrifice: You died not just for those of your time, but for all time. “The Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead” (CCC 1414). Help us weep for our sins and the sins of the whole world as we make reparation before your Blessed Sacrament.
The Ninth Station: Jesus Falls for the Third Time
“After receiving the bread, [Judas] immediately went out; and it was night.” (John 13:30)
Lord Jesus, when we contemplate your Third Fall, we remember the greatest shame of all: Judas, the Apostle who handed you over on the very night you offered yourself to him in the Eucharist. Lord, we are ashamed to admit that we, too, have betrayed your love, sinned grievously, and received you unworthily and we pray: “Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, I adore you profoundly, and I offer you the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which he himself is offended.”
Tenth Station: Jesus Is Stripped
“Behold, I am with you, until the end of time.” (Matthew 28:20)
Lord Jesus, they stripped you of your clothes and you stood before the crowds present in your body, blood, soul and divinity, with nothing covering you. Lord Jesus this is exactly how you appear before us in the Eucharist, where we see you uncovered in your host, and your bare presence is enough for us. Thank you for this great gift.
Eleventh Station: Jesus is nailed to the cross
“By his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)
Lord Jesus, to save our wounded human nature you yourself suffered the punishment we deserved. Every time we break bread may we remember that your body was broken for us and be “configured more deeply” to you by participating “with the whole community in [your] sacrifice by means of the Eucharist” (CCC 1322).
Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross
“All of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death.” (Romans 6:3)
Lord Jesus, we tremble to see you in your crucifix, but we cannot forget that what the crucifix merely depicts, the Eucharist truly is, for “the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner” in the Eucharist (CCC 1367) Lord, in profound gratitude, we unite our suffering, works, prayers and gratitude with your offering once and for all to the Father.
Thirteenth Station: Jesus Is Taken Down From the Cross
“Mary gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes.” (Luke 2:7)
Lord Jesus, seeing you taken down from the cross and placed in the lap of your mother, we can’t help but remember your birthplace, Bethlehem, which means House of Bread. We know that “no one, whether shepherds or wise men, can approach God here below except by kneeling before the manger at Bethlehem and adoring him hidden in the weakness of a new-born child” (CCC 563) We adore you now, hidden in the Living Bread of the Blessed Sacrament.
Fourteenth Station: Jesus Is Laid in the Tomb
“They took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb.” Acts 13:39
Lord Jesus, they lay you in your tomb, but we know that you will not be there long but will rise as you promised. Lord, when we see the Blessed Sacrament placed in the tabernacle we also know that you will triumph soon, bringing the whole of creation into your glory, for “There is no surer pledge or dearer sign of this great hope in the new heavens and new earth ‘in which righteousness dwells,’ than the Eucharist” (CCC 1405).
Lord Jesus, your Real Presence in the Eucharist “sustains our strength along the pilgrimage of this life, makes us long for eternal life, and unites us even now to the Church in heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the saints” (CCC 1419). Be with us now as we leave your presence and continue your Way of the Cross in our lives.