(Vatican Radio) "God is mercy": that’s the title chosen by Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti for the meditations for the Via Crucis which will be presided by Pope Francis on the night of Good Friday at the Roman Colosseum. In the texts, which will be published tomorrow by the Libreria Editrice Vaticana, the archbishop of Perugia, Italy conveys the message that in response to our fear, pain, persecution and violence, God gives his mercy freely to all. In meditations for each of the 14 stations of the Cross, Cardinal Bassetti recalls the words of St. John Paul II, reflects on the plight of persecuted Christians and the Jews killed in the death camps, and “the victims of all persecution.”
He reminds us to see the face of Christ in the stranger, especially migrants, and to pray for families in difficulty, especially for couples whose marriages are failing, those who have lost their jobs, and for young people who have yet to find stable employment.
Cardinal Bassetti’s meditations also reflect on abused children and “those who have suffered abuse or whose dignity is not respected.”
Modern day martyrs of the recent past like Massimiliano Kolbe and Edith Stein are also raised up in the meditations “as true apostles of the contemporary world.” He points to the love, gratitude and humbleness of Joseph of Arimathea who takes Christ’s body for a “sober” burial and holds up the simplicity of his actions in contrast to the “ostentation, banality and flashiness of the funerals of the powerful of this world.”
With the closing of Christ’s tomb, the Cardinal reflects, it is not death which has triumphed – because in the shadow of this tomb in Jerusalem, he says, God is quietly “working …to generate new grace in man.”