On Jesus’ Falling and Failing

For Holy Week here is my latest article for National Catholic Register on the deeper meanings of Jesus falling three times on the Way of the Cross.

There is an old saying that it does not matter how often you fall — it matters how often you get up.

I’m reminded of our failing and falling whenever I walk through the Stations of the Cross, for in the pattern of his passion, Jesus falls three times on his way up the hill of sacrifice.

The three falls of Jesus picture his human weakness, but everything in the story can be pressed for deeper meaning; and the three falls connect with three ways we fail and three times we fall within our frail humanity.

First, we fail in our physicality. We’re lazy. We eat too much of the wrong stuff and too little of the good stuff. We take the wormy bait of artificial happiness that drink and drugs offer. We pant after sex for recreation rather than procreation.

We want stimulation and entertainment rather than motivation and service. We wallow in our sordid desires and stumble and fall time and again, not just three times, but, it seems like, every time.

Read the whole article here.


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