Twelfth Station: Jesus dies on the cross

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’, that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’.

Matthew 27:45-46

Jesus is on the cross. Hours of anguish, terrible hours, hours of inhuman physical suffering. “I thirst,” says Jesus. And they lift to his lips a sponge dipped in gall.

An unexpected cry rises up: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Is this blasphemy? Is the dying man crying out the words of the psalm? How are we to accept a God who cries out, who groans, who doesn’t know, who doesn’t understand? The Son of God made man, who dies thinking he has been abandoned by his Father?

Jesus, until now you had been one of us,
one with us in all things but sin!
You, the Son of God made man,
You, the Holy One of God,
became completely one with us
willing even to experience our sinful state,
our separation from God, the hell of the godless.
You experienced darkness in order to give us light.
You experienced this separation in order to unite us.
You accepted pain in order to leave us Love.
You became an outcast, forsaken, hanging
between heaven and earth, in order to receive us into God’s life.

A mystery surrounds us,
as we relive each step of your passion.
Jesus, you did not cling to your equality with God
as a jealously guarded treasure,
but made yourself completely poor, in order to make us rich.

“Into your hands I commend my spirit”.
Jesus, how were you able,
in that abyss of desolation,
to entrust yourself to the Father’s love,
surrendering yourself to him, dying in him?
Only by looking to you, only in union with you,
can we face tragedies, innocent suffering,
humiliation, abuse and death.

Jesus experiences his death as a gift for me, for us, for our families, for each person, for every family, for all peoples and for the entire human race. In that act, life is reborn.

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