The Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies Upon the Cross.
And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.
It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”; and when he had said this he breathed his last.
Today I begin my Triduum retreat with Dominican nuns. Earlier I listened as they practiced singing the Passion account for Good Friday. Hearing the priest singing the words of Christ made each of his seven statements from the cross fall on my ears in a way they never have before.
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
“Jesus said to his mother: “Woman, this is your son.”
Then he said to the disciple: “This is your mother.”
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
“It is finished.”
“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
When they mocked him, scourged him, stripped him, gambled for his clothes, and killed him, he forgave.
When it seemed too late for mercy, he invited the repentant thief to paradise.
When he felt abandoned by his own Father, he gave us his Mother.
He thirsts for us. As Mother Teresa once wrote, “Hear your own name. Not just once. Every day. If you listen with your heart, you will hear, you will understand. Why does Jesus say ‘I thirst’? What does it mean? Something so hard to explain in words….”I thirst” is something much deeper than just Jesus saying ‘I love you.’ Until you know deep inside that Jesus thirsts for you – you can’t begin to know who He wants to be for you. Or who He wants you to be for Him.”
He consummates the marriage with his Bride, the Church, on the cross. “No more shall you be called ‘Forsaken,’ nor your land called ‘Desolate,’ but you shall be called ‘My Delight is in her,’ and your land ‘Espoused.’ For the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be espoused” (Is 62:4).
Jesus was obedient to the Father in every single moment of his life, and his final words are a prayer offering himself once again to the Father.
May we hear these words of Jesus and, through them, come to know and love him more fully today than ever before.
V: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You. (Genuflect)
R: Because, by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world. (Rise)
V: Consider how Your Jesus, after three hours of agony on the cross, is finally overwhelmed with suffering and, abandoning Himself to the weight of His body, bows His head and dies. (Kneel)
R: My dying Jesus,
I devoutly kiss the cross on which You would die for love of me.
I deserve, because of my sins, to die a terrible death;
but Your death is my hope.
By the merits of Your death,
give me the grace to die embracing Your feet and burning with love of You.
I yield my soul into Your hands.
I love You with my whole heart.
I am sorry that I have offended You.
Never let me offend You again.
Grant that I may love You always; and then do with me as You will.
(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.)
Blessed Mother Teresa, from a letter to the Missionaries of Charity
St. Alphonsus Liguori’s Stations of the Cross