On Friday morning, Occupy Boston’s Protest Chaplains led community members through the Stations of the Cross to reflect on Good Friday. Below is text provided by the group about their devotions:
First Station of the Cross at Dewey Square: Good Friday belongs on the streets. To Occupy is to stand in solidarity with suffering. The cross allows us this solidarity, whether or not we are Christians. For those of us who are Christians, following the way and Stations of the Cross allows us to stand in solidarity with Christ. Economic injustice and today’s extreme economic inequality are both immoral and sinful. Jesus is condemned to death.
Second Station of the Cross at 100 Federal Street, Bank of America Boston Headquarters: Jesus picks up the cross. In choosing to Occupy, we too challenge the empire, and the dirty deals that ruin so many lives.
Third Station of the Cross at Century Bank, Financial Center: Jesus stumbles under the weight of the cross for the first time. In the meditation, the analogy was made to partial payments and the false counsel from certain banks to just not make payments while in negotiations – and that for so many, these “stumbles” led to loss of homes and even to life on the street.
Fourth Station of the Cross at the Irish Famine Memorial: Jesus meets Mary along the way of the cross. So often the burdens of life fall more heavily of women. And this is true of famine; all famines for more than a century have been the result of maldistribution of food and corporate policies that turn a blind eye to human need. There is enough food for all, if only it were distributed on the basis of need rather than profit.
Fifth Station of the Cross in Downtown Crossing: Simon the Syrene is conscripted to help carry the heavy cross. “I am Simon the Syrene; I am merciful and I am complicit.” Without the legionaries command, Simon would have observed suffering and injustice in silence, as most of us do.
Sixth Station of the Cross in an area of shops and commerce: Veronica steps out of the anonymous crowd, and wipes the sweat and blood from Jesus’s face. In doing so, she risks arrest and maybe worse. She could have remained safely in the shadows, anonymous in the crowd. So often it is those with little who step up to help one another, with great courage and empathy.
Seventh Station of the Cross on Boston Common: Jesus falls a second time under the weight of the cross. Rev. Kathy McAdams described that her congregation, many of them homeless, meet outdoors on the Common every Sunday, rain or sun or snow. They do this because many of them have stumbled and fallen many times and are not welcome elsewhere. The name of the congregation is “The Commons Cathedral” and all are welcome. In helping one another, many have made a new life after their many stumbles.
Stations 8 – 14 take place on the steps of the State House: These stations describe the third fall of Jesus, and his death on the cross. Falling down brings solidarity with the fallen. In the telling of Jesus’ nailing to the cross and death, the Arredondo family described their suffering due to the death of their son Alex in Iraq and the suicide of their son Micheal, who was unable to survive Alex’s death, and they pray for an end to unjust wars with their tragic loss of life to soldier and civilian alike.
We stood together in solemn vigil with Occupy Boston at Camp Charlie on the steps of the State House on Good Friday, April 6, 2012.