All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all
“Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”.
Have you ever gone to the mall and accidentally caught sight of someone has they tripped across the travertine tiles? I have. And let me tell you, it’s not something I paused and pondered. It my more severe (and younger) days I most likely chuckled or, sad to say, guffawed. But as I grew older I averted my eyes. I did not want to see another person’s humiliation; wound their pride by acknowledging their shortcomings.
And yet, here we are at the foot of the third Station of the Cross and pondering just that.
Why did the church preserve such a small and humbling detail about Our Lord?
Isaiah tells us
“the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all”
- the weight of that cross had to be unbearable. That is, the weight of our sin caused our Lord to fall. And yet, we hold on to it, don’t we? We not only commit the sin, but then we barrel through it, like the man in the mall who trips. He shuffles his feet, takes a quick look around and continues walking like nothing happened.
Of course, there are others among us. This group of people still commits the sin - the cross is still heavy. But these people have a different response. Rather than shuffling their feet to move past it, unnoticed, this second crown of people let their arms and legs go flailing so the they wind sprawled across the floor. And that’s where they stay. Their pride too wounded to get up, too afraid that others might have seen they aren’t perfect, hiding until “the coast is clear.”
Neither one of these were the response of Jesus. He could have not fallen. He could have had a host of angels supporting him lest he strike his foot on a stone. But he showed us the crushing burden of sin and the affect of its weight upon our shoulders. He love for us moved him to lift himself up.
Are we willing to do the same? Are we willing to rise up from our own falls - step onto the right path - and then continue. The good news is that “His yoke is easy, his burden light.”
Do you find yourself hiding your fall, or worse, paralyzed by it?
It’s Lent! Is there sin that you continue to hide afraid it might out you as “less than perfect?”
Ask God to show it to you and then go to confession with it. Ask him for the grace to cultivate the corresponding virtue in your life.
Jesus Falls for the First Time