The Thirteenth Station: Jesus Is Taken Down from the Cross.
Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out.
Deep waters cannot quench love,
nor rivers sweep it away.
St. Catherine of Siena once asked Jesus, “Gentle and immaculate Lamb, you were already dead when your side was opened; why were you willing to be pierced and to have your heart cleft in two?”
His response was, “Because my desire was infinite with respect to the human race, while the endurance of pain and torment was finite; and by means of a finite thing I could not show how much more I loved, because my love was infinite. And further, I wanted you to see the secret of the Heart, showing it to you opened so that you could see that I loved you more than I could manifest to you by finite suffering.”
You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.
Once Jesus has given himself completely, and every drop of blood and water is spent, he is taken down from the cross and placed into the arms of his mother. His day of unfathomable suffering is ended and he sleeps the sleep of death in the arms of the one who held him in a similar embrace from the moment he came into the world.
Tonight I sit with this loss as the chapel is empty and the flickering red light of the sanctuary lamp is snuffed out. Something about these Holy Days seems to collapse time and makes the death of Jesus as real today as it was that day. I pause in this moment and reflect, praying, Jesus Christ Crucified, have mercy on us.
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, after Our Lord had died, He was taken down from the cross by two of His disciples, Joseph and Nicodemus, and placed in the arms of His afflicted Mother. She received Him with unutterable tenderness and pressed Him close to her bosom. (Kneel)
R: O Mother of Sorrows,
for the love of Your Son,
accept me as Your servant and pray to Him for me,
And You, my Redeemer, since you have died for me,
allow me to love You,
for I desire only You and nothing more.
I love You, Jesus my Love,
and 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.)
Drawn By Love, Stations of the Cross with St. Catherine of Siena
Opening Prayer of the Divine Mercy Chaplet
St. Alphonsus Liguori’s Stations of the Cross