Are There Any Roads You Have Not Taken?

by | Apr 19, 2023 | Formation, Reflections | 1 comment

Today I ask are there any roads I didn’t take… or maybe not followed far enough?

Keeping Jesus in the tomb

One road taken by some Christians leads unwittingly to keeping Jesus in the tombs of their discouraged hearts.

We fail to fully embrace the hope and joy that comes with the Resurrection.

Strangely, we keep Jesus in the tomb by sometimes focusing too much on his suffering and death. We seem unaware of the climax of the “fifteenth station.”

We hold on to our past mistakes and refuse to accept the forgiveness and mercy of Christ. We can become trapped in a cycle of guilt and shame, thinking we must earn the joy of the resurrection.

Likewise, we can also keep Jesus in the tomb by failing to share the good news of his Resurrection with others.

“Good news” is contagious!

We must allow ourselves to be forgiven and set free by the love of Christ and embrace the new life and hope that comes with the Resurrection.

The 14 “Stations of Light” (the Via Lucis)

Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI ask us to travel down the road some call the “fifteenth station.”

The “Stations of Light” (the Via Lucis) is a follow-up to the journey to the cross. It involves walking with the followers of Christ through some 14 stations or stages in the journey of the early Christians after Jesus‘ Resurrection.

We must continue walking with the followers of Christ on their journey of slowly recognizing and accepting the transforming power of the resurrected Jesus in their lives. These Popes draw our attention to the experiences on this journey recorded in the Acts of the Apostles.

  1. Jesus rises from the dead.
  2. Mary Magdalen and the other women find the tomb empty.
  3. He appears to Mary who recognizes him when he calls her name.
  4. Jesus appears to two disciples on the road to Emmaus.
  5. These disciples finally recognize Jesus as he breaks bread with them.
  6. Jesus shows his wounds to the bewildered gathering in Jerusalem.
  7. He gives his disciples the power to forgive.
  8. Jesus appears to the doubting Thomas.
  9. He feeds his disciples with a miraculous catch of fish.
  10. Jesus sends his followers to spread the news of the resurrection.
  11. The disciples witness his ascent into heaven.
  12. Jesus gives them his Spirit on Pentecost.
  13. Mary is assumed into heaven.
  14. She is crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth.

We walk their journey today

The 14 stations of the Via Lucis are an invitation to recognize our experiences of the resurrected Jesus in our daily life.

We experience transforming moments when we recognize Jesus in…

  1. The good things in our lives foreshadowing the greater joy yet to come.
  2. Our need to run and tell others.
  3. Moments when someone calls us by name.
  4. Those who help us connect the dots in our journey.
  5. Times when we break bread together.
  6. Moments when a community comes together in uncertainty.
  7. Times when we put our hands in Jesus’ wounds today.
  8. Moments when another forgives us, or we can forgive them.
  9. The times when we are unexpectedly fed.
  10. Moments when we accept his call to share the Good News
  11. Those who have gone before us on our journey
  12. Times the spirit of God comes over us.
  13. Mary who goes before all of us.
  14. And who calls us to be with her and her Son.

In this Easter time let’s walk toward the fifteenth station of our journey toward recognizing the risen Christ in 0ur lives.

Originally posted on Vincentian Mindwalk


1 Comment

  1. Ann Mary Dougherty, DC

    Thank you, Father John. I never had heard of the “Stations of Light,” but what a wonderful way to celebrate the Resurrection. Also, applying them to practical, transforming moments, truly will help us live as Easter people in this season and for the rest of our days.