April 2, 2021, Good Friday, The Way of Cross

This year the Via Dolorosa
walks its bitter path through Myanmar
and we follow in fourteen stations.

Jesus is condemned to death in Yangon.

Jesus is made to bear the cross in Naypyitaw,
as Mya Thwe Thwe Khaing,
shot before her twentieth birthday.

Jesus falls the first time in Pyapon,
as peaceful demonstrations,
parked cars blocking roads, signs for justice,
face bans, curfews, rubber bullets,
threat of loss of life.

Jesus meets his mother in Magway,
remembering his home,
in a time of house arrest and home burning.

Simon of Cyrene bears the cross in Hakha
and it is wrapped in barbed wire.

Veronica wipes Jesus’ face
with women’s longyi and undergarments
strung on clothes lines in Pagu.

Jesus falls the second time in Tamu,
for civil disobedience makes no difference
to real bullets,
stun grenades, tear gas.

Jesus weeps over the women of Mandalay
who bang pots and pans, roll onions in the street,
give the‘hunger-games’salute.

Jesus falls the third time in Namsang
as active revolt is crushed
with air strikes by the Tatmadaw.

Jesus is stripped of his garments in Sagaing —
Buddhist, Muslim, Baptist, Catholic.

Jesus is nailed to the cross in Falam,
as more than one hundred anti-coup protestors
die in one day.

Jesus dies on the cross
in more than five hundred deaths,
across all the small villages burned, bombed,
children running for their lives.

Jesus is taken down from the cross in Maymo
and placed in the sepulcher in Shweli,
in Katha, in Taninthartharyi, in Kachin,
in so many places
whose names I do not know.

A traditional response to each station:

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
You remind us by your holy cross
that you walk with all the suffering of the world.

Cross a gift from Stephen Price, artist unknown

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8 Responses to April 2, 2021, Good Friday, The Way of Cross

  1. We are so well practiced at crucifying Jesus. Thank you for this heartbreaking prayer, Maren.

  2. ahuntca says:

    thanks! appreciated the naming… while it is true there are the stations everywhere… naming particular stations is useful at many levels

    • Maren says:

      I have often used situations like hunger … domestic violence … racism … but somehow knowing particular ones seems important.

  3. Jessica McArdle says:

    A powerful and heartbreaking re-telling of the Stations of the Cross, Maren. Yes, we are too far adept at crucifying Jesus, again, again and again.

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