The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary is the Crucifixion. God is all-powerful, and he could have saved us in whatever way he wanted, but he ordained to save us through the cross. Jesus on the cross teaches us the love of God, the horror of sin, and the acceptance of suffering.
Jesus on the cross is the expression of God’s love for us. It is also the model and standard of true love. “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friend” (Jn 15:13).
Here on earth, true love and sacrifice are inseparable. False love is self-centred and selfish, whereas true love is God-centred and selfless. If we truly love others, we must be willing to give ourselves.
Jesus on the cross shows us the horror of sin. He accepted all the consequences of sin on his human body. When we contemplate the wounds and blood of Christ, we see the results of our sinfulness. Each time we go to confession we are cleansed by the blood of Christ. Let us be grateful, and not despise the blood of Christ by giving in to sin.
Jesus on the cross is our example of facing human suffering. Though innocent, Jesus freely embraced the cross for our salvation. He invites us to do the same. We can offer up our sufferings for the salvation of others.
Jesus on the Cross prayed, “Father forgive them; They do not know what it is they are doing” (Lk 23:34). Ven. Fulton J. Sheen wrote, “Men on dying either proclaim their own innocence, or condemn the judges who sentenced them to death, or else ask pardon for sins. But Perfect Innocence asked no pardon; as Mediator between God and man He extended pardon. As High Priest Who offered Himself in sacrifice, He pleaded for sinners.”
St. Augustine said, “Indeed, even the cross, if you consider it, was a judgment seat, for the Judge was in the middle, one thief, who believed, was pardoned, the other, who mocked, was damned. Here is a sign of what He will one day do to the living and the dead, placing the one on His right hand, the other on His left.”
“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home” (Jn 19:26–27).
Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich said, “She who had become the Mother of the Eternal Word Incarnate, now that she understood from her dying Son that she was to be the spiritual Mother of another son, in the midst of her grief at parting and still humbly obedient, again pronounced, though in her heart, the words: ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord! Be it done to me according to Thy word!’ I felt that she took at that moment for her own children all the children of God, all the brethren of Jesus.”
Emmerich pointed out that Christ thought about each one of us on the cross: “Jesus wholly abandoned, wholly deprived of all things, and utterly helpless, sacrificed Himself in infinite love. Yes, He turned His abandonment itself into a rich treasure by offering to His Heavenly Father His life, labours, love, and sufferings, along with the bitter sense of our ingratitude that thereby He might strengthen our weakness and enrich our poverty. He made before God His last testament, by which He gave over all His merits to the Church and to sinners. He thought of everyone. In His abandonment He was with every single soul until the end of time.”
耶穌在十字架上祈禱說：『父啊，寬赦他們吧! 因為他們不知道他們做的是什麼。』（路23:34）可敬者Fulton J. Sheen寫道：『人死的時候，一是宣稱他們無罪，一是譴責判他們死罪的法官們，不然便是請求罪過的寬恕。但完美的無罪是無需請求寬恕的；作為世人和天主的中保祂伸延了寬恕。作為大司祭祂奉獻自己作犧牲，祂為罪人懇求。』
真福Anne Catherine Emmerich說：『那位成為永生聖言成人的母親，現在因她兒子的死亡她明白她已經是另一兒子靈性的母親，在她陷於離別的苦痛時她卻仍謙遜服從，再一次在她心中宣稱：「看，上主的婢女，願照你的話成就於我吧!」我感覺到在這時候，她接納了天主所有的子女，所有耶穌的弟兄作為她自己的子女。』