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Carrying of the Cross
Fourth Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary

The Carrying of the Cross - Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary
Carrying the Cross - Giovanni Battista Tiepolo - 1738

Introduction

Carrying of the Cross, the Fourth Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary, holds profound importance in the Christian narrative, symbolizing the selfless acceptance of Jesus Christ of the burdens of humanity and the transformative power of redemptive suffering.

The significance of this sorrowful mystery lies in Jesus’ journey to Calvary, bearing the weight of the Cross on which He would be crucified. This act reflects His unconditional love and willingness to carry the sins of the world, exemplifying the divine exchange where He takes on the consequences of human transgressions.

Moreover, Carrying of the Cross is a pivotal moment in the Passion, emphasizing the physical and emotional toll of Christ’s sacrificial mission. It serves as a powerful symbol of the path that believers are called to follow—a path of self-denial, carrying one’s own crosses, and embracing the challenges of life with faith and resilience.

In contemplating this sorrowful mystery, believers are invited to reflect on the redemptive nature of suffering. Carrying the Cross becomes a poignant reminder that through our own struggles, we can find meaning, purpose, and spiritual growth. It encourages a deep understanding of the transformative journey that leads to the Cross, where suffering becomes a conduit for divine grace and the ultimate victory over sin and death.

Scriptures of Carrying of the Cross

Luke 23:26-33

And as they led him away, they laid hold of one Simon of Cyrene, coming from the country; and they laid the cross on him to carry after Jesus.

And there followed him a great multitude of people, and of women, who bewailed and lamented him.

But Jesus turning to them, said: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me; but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For behold, the days shall come, wherein they will say: Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the paps that have not given suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains: Fall upon us; and to the hills: Cover us. For if in the green wood they do these things, what shall be done in the dry?

And there were also two other malefactors led with him to be put to death. And when they were come to the place which is called Calvary, they crucified him there; and the robbers, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.

Scripture Commentary

The Journey to Calvary: Luke 23:26-33

In the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 23, verses 26 to 33, we delve into a pivotal moment in the life of Jesus Christ – the journey to Calvary, where He would ultimately be crucified. This passage captures the physical and emotional toll that this journey took on Jesus and sets the stage for the profound events that unfold.

Simon of Cyrene: Sharing the Burden (Luke 23:26)

The passage begins with the account of Simon of Cyrene being compelled to carry the cross of Jesus. The weight of the cross, symbolic of the burden of sin that Jesus was about to bear, had become too much for Him. Simon, likely a bystander in the crowd, is pressed into service to share in this burden. This seemingly incidental event carries significant symbolism – it reflects the communal aspect of Jesus’ sacrifice. In sharing the load, Simon becomes a participant in the redemptive journey, foreshadowing the broader invitation for all to take up their crosses and follow Christ.

Daughters of Jerusalem: Compassion Amidst Calamity (Luke 23:27-31)

As Jesus continues His journey, a group of women, often referred to as the “daughters of Jerusalem,” expresses sorrow and compassion for Him. Jesus responds with a forewarning about the impending difficulties that will befall Jerusalem. In doing so, He not only acknowledges the compassion shown to Him but also directs attention to the broader implications of His sacrifice. The focus shifts from the immediate physical suffering to the profound spiritual implications – a call to repentance and a recognition of the significance of what is transpiring.

Crucifixion: The Place of the Skull (Luke 23:32-33)

The passage culminates in the arrival at Golgotha, known as the “Place of the Skull.” Here, Jesus is crucified alongside two criminals. This method of execution was not only physically agonizing but carried immense symbolic weight. The Place of the Skull serves as a poignant backdrop, representing the place of death and the stark reality of human mortality.

As Jesus hangs on the cross, He utters the profound words, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). This prayer of forgiveness encapsulates the essence of His mission – to reconcile humanity to God through the forgiveness of sins.

In Luke 23:26-33, we witness the convergence of physical and spiritual dimensions. The journey to Calvary becomes a transformative moment not only for Jesus but for all who encounter this narrative. It invites reflection on the shared burden of sin, the compassion extended in times of calamity, and the redemptive power of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. As we explore this passage, we are confronted with the depth of Christ’s love, the significance of His journey, and the profound impact of His crucifixion on the course of human history.

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We have a Sorrowful Mysteries pdf available for your use. It is free to download and share. It can be printed and used for praying the Rosary and is an excellent aid for anyone, especially for beginners.  The author still uses it to this day.

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Last Publish:  February 5, 2024

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