The Desire of Via Dolorosa: Renewal and Hope in Life
Via Dolorosa (also known as Way of the Cross) is a processional route in Jerusalem that consists of 14 stations; the final station ends at the tomb.
The Way of the Cross is an expression of the yearning of believers of all ages for the experience of Christ. It is the desire to find spiritual truth in meditation and prayer as believers make their pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
It is through our continual connection with suffering Christ that we will be given the renewal, hope, as well as the bread of life.
Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34 NIV It is the path that one often meditate on in the beginning of acceptance of the Christian faith and is drawn by his love. When we meditate on Christ’s crucifixion for our sins, it allows us to not perish but have eternal life through believing in him. He who has given us gracious and merciful love, teaching us that our life work does not merely depend on food or materials, but requires a constant longing for the Way of the Cross. It is through our continual connection with suffering Christ that we will be given the renewal, hope, as well as the bread of life.
These faces of suffering individuals wince as they try to get some rest on an empty stomach.
Today, in a world that is clouded with conflicts and hate—any war might be on the verge. Unfortunately, there are places that have already fallen into the state of war and despair, because the world rejects his grace and love. In the city where properties and cost of living are unaffordable, on the surface it might seem strong and thriving. However, many people are tasting the bitter fruits of the prosperity. Many people in Hong Kong are familiar with McRefugees who stay overnight in a 24-hour McDonald’s restaurant. These faces of suffering individuals wince as they try to get some rest on an empty stomach. These faces might be passing us by every day, yet people (and sadly, Christians) fail to notice them as they carry on to hustle in the city.
Even Christians become hungry and fail to achieve the bread of life, because we have lost our desire to the Way of the Cross.
We busy ourselves with living, school and studying, and worshipping. We barely have time to pause and realize that we still suffer from hunger. The hustle and bustle of daily life has affected our living and rest, we might not even have time for devotional reading, and thus our relationship with God suffers. We know that there are still people in the world who are deprived of basic needs, they are lacking filling food and the bread of life—not because God does not have mercy on them but because people are unwilling to share what they are given. And even Christians become hungry and fail to achieve the bread of life, because we have lost our desire to the Way of the Cross. Jesus came to us, he entered Jerusalem that was requiring salvation, he arrived at the bedside of COVID-19 patients, he set foot in the rooms of those in quarantine, he went to every city and country in lockdown combatting the pandemic. His presence has brought hope to his people. Jesus has come, and he is right here beside us.
It is only the suffering and resurrection of the Lord Jesus that give us renewal and hope.
Christ is inviting us to go to him. It is only the suffering and resurrection of the Lord Jesus that give us renewal and hope, and allow us to enter into the presence of God and be with our brothers and sisters from the four corners of the world. He embraces every single one of us, longing for us to unite with one another as he is with his Father. John 17:21 Holy Week begins on April 10, which is the most sacred week in the liturgical year in Christianity. As Christians, we ought to pause, to experience and reflect deeply, so we can have a new understanding and thus our lives can be renewed and we can receive hope. Let us connect with one another in thoughts, prayers, hymns, pictures, words, and lives. Showing our way of hope.
May the Lord help us in our efforts to respond to his suffering for our sins, give us hope, courage, and strength to face our adversities.
Written by Cheui Yi (At Will)