This week, as we reflect on the Stations of the Cross, let’s look at the image of Jesus falling for the second time. Even with help from Simon and the tenderness of Veronica, Jesus stumbles. This isn’t the first obstacle – he’s been beaten, mocked, and forced to carry the weight of the world. But this second fall feels different. It’s a moment of utter exhaustion, a crushing weight that threatens to keep him down.

Can you relate? We all face challenges. We get knocked down, dust ourselves off, and keep going. But then life throws a curveball – the death of a loved one, a job loss, a broken relationship. These aren’t just bumps in the road; they’re like trudging up a slippery hill, feeling like you’re constantly sliding backwards.

But here’s the truth: Jesus gets it. His second fall isn’t weakness; it’s a profound reminder that sometimes perseverance feels like an uphill battle.

What if we could prevent these moments of crisis? Imagine a world where marriages thrive instead of ending in divorce. What if, instead of just reacting to problems, we focused on strengthening the roots of our faith?

The answer lies in “deep work” with Jesus. Just like a wilting plant needs more than a quick watering, our spiritual lives need focused attention. This might involve practices like:

  • Solitude: Finding quiet space to connect with God.
  • Silence: Stilling our minds to hear God’s voice.
  • Fasting: Denying ourselves something to focus on God.
  • Sabbath: Taking a break to rest and recharge in God’s presence.

These aren’t about feeling guilty or missing out. They’re tools to cultivate a deeper relationship with God, a wellspring of strength to draw from during those inevitable moments when you feel like you’re falling.

So, take a deep breath. Remember, Jesus kept going. Find your source of strength, and take that next step, even if it feels like a small one.

Who will walk with you on this journey? Consider a spiritual director or a trusted friend to offer encouragement and support.

Because perseverance isn’t about never falling. It’s about choosing to get back up, again and again.

Reflection Questions for you and your community:

  1. How do you most naturally encounter Jesus?
  2. How are you nurturing your relationship with Jesus?
  3. How are you creating space for people in your community to encounter Jesus?
  4. What challenges or opportunities is your community facing?
  5. What is your vision for the future of your community?

Stay tuned for the next installment, where we’ll delve deeper into practical tips and resources to equip you in leading your community through the remaining weeks of Lent.

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