Who was Jesus?

Jesus was a spiritual teacher who lived in Roman controlled Judea in the first century. His dynamic and progressive teachings had religious, economic, and political repercussions. His followers described him as the Messiah (a Hebrew term meaning “anointed king” and referring to a line of independent Jewish kings, especially David, who ruled before Roman occupation.) This claim dangerously subverted Roman rule with its revolutionary connotations.

What is Holy Week?

Holy week is a commemoration of the final week of Jesus’ life in which he entered the highly militarized city of Jerusalem for a Passover visit to the Temple and in so doing provoked his enemies to execute him.

PALM SUNDAY: Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem on a donkey. Happy crowds gathered to welcome him and declare him the new king.

MAUDY THURSDAY: Jesus celebrated a Passover dinner with his disciples. At the dinner he spoke with his disciples for the last time and fed them bread and wine which would become a mystical remembrance of him.

GOOD FRIDAY: After the dinner, Jesus and his followers retired to a garden for the evening. It was here that soldiers found and arrested him. They took him before a religious court and before a military court and ultimately executed him through crucifixion a popular Roman form of execution that involved extreme torture and humiliation.

EASTER SUNDAY: Two of Jesus’ followers visited his tomb to find it empty and with its covering stone displaced. Later he appeared before his followers bodily. This resurrection confirmed to his followers that he was the king, but not in the earthly way they had expected, but rather of a celestial kingdom.

What are the Stations of the Cross?

Jesus journey towards death is demarcated with 14 stations, small events that are reflected upon in order to understand and relate to Jesus and to meditate on life and death.

Throughout Lent, and especially during Holy Week, Catholics remember and recreate these Stations. One of the most important themes of this remembrance is life, death, and the eternal nature of the reality which underpins both.

Jesus journeys from life to death and then back to life. In a same way, plants and animals that have been dead or dormant during the winter return to life in the spring. Our moon which dies away every month returns to its full form (as it will be Thursday.) So the moon is born and dies constantly, and at the same time she is eternal.

Are there different versions of the Stations?

There are a few different enumerations of the Stations. We are using a new set known as the “scriptural stations.” Which were created and authorized by Pope John Paul II. They are as follows:

I Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
II Jesus Betrayed by Judas
III Jesus Condemned by the Sanhedrin
IV Jesus Denied by Peter
V Jesus Judged by Pilate
VI Jesus Crowned with Thorns
VII Jesus Bears the Cross
VIII Jesus is helped by Simon the Cyrenian
IX Jesus Meets the Daughters of Jerusalem
X Jesus is Crucified
XI Jesus Promises the Kingdom to the Good Thief
XII Jesus speaks to Mary and his Disciple
XIII Jesus dies on the Cross
XIV Jesus is placed in the Tomb