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Casa StoriesNewspaperThe Way of the Cross of a Migrant

The Way of the Cross of a Migrant

I. JESUS IS CONDEMNED TO DEATH

Jesus, you are sentenced unjustly by your enemies. I know what you must feel. Many of us have been condemned to a slow death, because of thinking and because of taking our inspiration from the Bible and its message. Our children are already condemned to death because they carry on their backs part of the external debt, condemned to die because of the deterioration of health services, condemned to die illiterate because education is becoming the privilege of the few.
Reader: Jesus is unjustly condemned.
All: Help us, who have been unjustly condemned.

II. JESUS CARRIES HIS CROSS

Jesus, you accepted the cross for us. I also have many crosses, seven crosses of responsibility, to be exact, seven children to raise without a father, without a husband, and without any help. Seven children suffering from malnutrition. Thanks be to God, I have obtained, if only for three months, a job as a domestic, which will allow me to survive and keep them alive.
Reader: Jesus, we need your help to be able to go on.
All: Give us the faith to not become disheartened.

III. JESUS FALLS THE FIRST TIME

Jesus falls under the weight of the cross. Help us not to fall under the weight of our crosses of each day: poverty, discouragement, ups and downs, a lack of hope. We the migrants go from one side to the other in this country and, because many times we have fallen, we are not welcome.
Reader: Lord, you who fell under the weight of the cross.
All: Help us not to be bitter.

IV. JESUS MEETS HIS MOTHER

The eyes of Jesus and those of his mother meet. I remember the last time I saw my family. I also remember the hopeful aspect of those of us who went out in search of a better future. I knew the way would be long and uncertain.
Reader: Mother, patron of those tempted by despair.
All: Help us to find in your face the comfort Jesus found there.

V. SIMON, THE CYRENE,HELPS JESUS CARRY THE CROSS

They say that Simon was converted after helping Jesus with the cross. Jesus, please convert me while I carry my crosses with yours. Let us not fall in our search and lead us to conversion, following the example of so many others who do not grow weak in the struggle.
Reader: Jesus, helped by Simon.
All: Teach us to carry our cross with dignity.

VI. VERONICA WIPES THE FACE OF JESUS
Veronica sees your bleeding face. She wipes it with her new handkerchief. So the impression of your face remains on the handkerchief, but even more, your suffering is imprinted on her heart. I remember the suffering face of so many migrants that I meet in the city.
Reader: Lord Jesus who suffered so much injustice.
All: Impregnate our hearts and our lives with your love and your strength.

VII. JESUS FALLS THE SECOND TIME

Jesus, the weight of the cross is too much and you fall again. My cross is very heavy, also, Lord. It is so hard. People call me “vagrant” and “lazy” as if I were a criminal. I want to return to my town, but I cannot, because the situation there has become even worse.
Reader: Jesus who got up the second time.
All: Don’t let them marginalize me because of my condition as a migrant.

VIII. JESUS SPEAKS TO THE WEEPING WOMEN OF JERUSALEM

Jesus, you are suffering, but even so you speak to the women of Jerusalem who weep and who know your pain. You comfort them. Jesus, we need you, still today, to speak to these women who suffer, to these women who weep to see their children eating so little or working in the streets under inhuman conditions. We need you to speak to the women who have to sell their bodies in order to survive or who are exploited at their work.
Reader: Jesus, you who comforted the women of Jerusalem.
All: Comfort today also those who weep.

IX. JESUS FALLS THE THIRD TIME

Jesus, your cross is so heavy, like mine, but you inspire me to continue on. My cross becomes so heavy when they tell me, “There is no work here.” “Return to your town, to your country, because here you are a nuisance.” And I can’t do anything in the face of this.
Reader: Lord, forgive them.
All: Because they know not what they do.

X. JESUS IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS

Jesus, you lost the very last of your possessions. They have taken everything from me, also: the land that I worked, the trust in the organization that worked for my rights, the possibility of having access to health and education services.
Reader: Jesus, stay with me and help us not to fall into the pit of despair.
All: Help those of us who have nothing except our faith.

XI. JESUS IS NAILED TO THE CROSS

Jesus, it is so cruel and unjust, what they did to you. Now they nail us, the migrants, to the cross of poverty, of marginalization, of ignorance and of the scarce opportunities for work. I have so many questions to ask:
Why so many loans of millions of dollars?
Why spend so much money on arms and armies?
Why do only some have access to health, education and work?
Reader: Jesus, you were the first to combat despair.
All: Help us to not despair.

XII. JESUS DIES ON THE CROSS

Jesus, on your cross you united the divine with the human. You died accused of inciting the people, of being political, of being revolutionary. If you began a revolution, it was a revolution of love. Don’t allow us to die, hating.
Reader: Jesus, you gave your life for us, but not in vain.
All: May the life of so many migrant brothers and sisters not be in vain.

XIII. JESUS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS

Your mutilated body is taken down from the cross and placed in the arms of your mother. Jesus, I know what a mutilated body is. I have held in my arms the body of a friend who was assaulted and killed when we tried to come to the United States. What can we do? We have to have faith that death is not in vain and believe in the resurrection.
Reader: Jesus, mutilated by soldiers.
All: Teach us to forgive those in this society who mutilate our hope, our dreams and our bodies.

XIV. JESUS IS BURIED IN THE TOMB
Those whom you loved so much buried you. They can return your body to the earth, but they cannot destroy your spirit. You will rise. You give us the hope that we also will be raised from the dead.
Reader: Jesus, who died and rose from the dead.
All: Help us to have faith in your death and resurrection.

XV. RESURRECTION

They killed the body but they cannot kill the spirit. Jesus, you said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Help us to have the strength to continue our journey, to fight against despair, to be freed from oppression and from sin.
Reader: We adore you, Oh Christ and we bless you.
All: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Houston Catholic Worker, Vol. XVII, No. 2, March-April 1997.

(from El Peregrino, Boletín de Información de la Pastoral de Movilidad
Humana
, Honduras).