Bookmark and Share

12th Station: Jesus dies on the Cross

with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
Good Friday 2005, at the Colosseum in Rome

From the Gospel according to John (19: 19-20)
Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the Cross; it read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews”. Many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek.

From the Gospel according to Matthew (27: 45-50,54)
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” That is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “This man is calling Elijah”. And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him”. And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit”. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe, and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

Meditation
In Greek and Latin, the two international languages of the time, and in Hebrew, the language of the Chosen People, a sign stood above the Cross of Jesus, indicating who he was: the King of the Jews, the promised Son of David. Pilate, the unjust judge, became a prophet despite himself. The kingship of Jesus was proclaimed before all the world. Jesus himself had not accepted the title “Messiah”, because it would have suggested a mistaken, human idea of power and deliverance. Yet now the title can remain publicly displayed above the Crucified Christ. He is indeed the king of the world. Now he is truly “lifted up”. In sinking to the depths he rose to the heights. Now he has radically fulfilled the commandment of love, he has completed the offering of himself, and in this way he is now the revelation of the true God, the God who is love. Now we know who God is. Now we know what true kingship is. Jesus prays Psalm 22, which begins with the words: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He takes to himself the whole suffering people of Israel, all of suffering humanity, the drama of God’s darkness, and he makes God present in the very place where he seems definitively vanquished and absent. The Cross of Jesus is a cosmic event. The world is darkened, when the Son of God is given up to death. The earth trembles. And on the Cross, the Church of the Gentiles is born. The Roman centurion understands this, and acknowledges Jesus as the Son of God. From the Cross he triumphs – ever anew.

Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, at the hour of your death the sun was darkened. Ever anew you are being nailed to the Cross. At this present hour of history we are living in God’s darkness. Through your great sufferings and the wickedness of men, the face of God, your face, seems obscured, unrecognizable. And yet, on the Cross, you have revealed yourself. Precisely by being the one who suffers and loves, you are exalted. From the Cross on high you have triumphed. Help us to recognize your face at this hour of darkness and tribulation. Help us to believe in you and to follow you in our hour of darkness and need. Show yourself once more to the world at this hour. Reveal to us your salvation.

Our Father ... She looked upon her sweet Son, saw him hang in desolation, till his spirit forth he sent.

12ª estación - Jesús muere en la cruz      
Meditaciones y Oraciones del Cardenal Joseph Ratzinger (Papa Benedicto XVI)

12ème station - Jésus meurt sur la Croix       
Méditations et prières du Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pape Benoît XVI) au Colisée

Music: from 'Triduum - Contemporary Sacred Music' by David Bevan & Neil Wright.
To download the free mp3 audio recordings individually, by right/double click on the play buttons  
Plus, you can listen to / download the Stations of the Cross podcasts in English, French, Portuguese & Spanish on itunes or from Totus2us' RSS feeds.

The Twelfth Station of the Cross

with quotes from Julian of Norwich

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

And Jesus said: “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. And when they saw that Jesus was already dead they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear and at once there came out blood and water. As it is written: “They shall look on him whom they have pierced.” (John 19; 30, 33-34, 37)

Then with a glad countenance our Lord looked unto his side and gazed there rejoicing. With his sweet looking, he led forth the understanding of me his creature by the same wound to the side within. And there he showed a fair, delectable place that is large enough for all mankind that shall be saved to rest in peace and in love. And with that he brought to my mind his dearworthy blood and precious water which he let pour out for love, and with the sweet beholding he showed his blessed heart cloven in two. And with this our good Lord said blissfully: "See how much I love you," as if he had said: "My darling, behold and see your Lord, the God that made you, and your endless joy. For now I have died for you and suffered all that can possibly be suffered, all my bitter pain and hard travail are turned into endless bliss and joy for you and for me.  See what satisfying bliss I have in your salvation, and for my love rejoice with me." (Julian of Norwich - X Revelation, Ch 24)

I love you Jesus, my love, above all things; I repent with my whole heart for having offended you.
Never permit me to separate myself from you again.
Grant that I may love you always, then do with me as you will.

Our Father ... Holy Mary ... Glory be.

Via Crucis with Blessed John Paul II

V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi. 
R/. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

on Good Friday in the Jubilee Year

21st April 2000 at the Colosseum in Rome
in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34).
At the height of his Passion, Christ does not forget man, especially those who are directly responsible for his suffering. Jesus knows that more than anything else man needs love; he needs the mercy which at this moment is being poured out on the world.
“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk 23:43).
This is how Jesus replies to the plea of the criminal hanging on his right: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk 23:42).
The promise of a new life. This is the first fruit of the Passion and imminent Death of Christ. A word of hope to man.
At the foot of the Cross stood Mary, and beside her the disciple, John the Evangelist.
Jesus says: “Woman, behold your son!” and to the disciple: “Behold your mother!” (Jn 19:26-27).
“And from that moment the disciple took her to his own home” (Jn 19:27).
This is his bequest to those dearest to his heart.

His legacy to the Church.
The desire of Jesus as he dies is that the maternal love of Mary should embrace all those for whom he is giving his life, the whole of humanity.
Immediately after, Jesus cries out: “I am thirsty” (Jn 19:28). A word which describes the dreadful burning which consumes his whole body.
It is the one word which refers directly to his physical suffering.

Then Jesus adds: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Mt 27:46). These words of the Psalm are his prayer. Despite their tone, these words reveal the depths of his union with the Father.
In the last moments of his life on earth, Jesus thinks of the Father. From this moment on, the dialogue will only be between the dying Son and the Father who accepts his sacrifice of love.
When the ninth hour comes, Jesus cries out: “It is accomplished!” (Jn 19:30).
Now the work of the redemption is complete.
The mission, for which he came on earth, has reached its goal.
The rest belongs to the Father:
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Lk 23:46).
And having said this, he breathed his last.
“The curtain of the temple was torn in two...” (Mt 27:51).
The “Holy of Holies” of the Jerusalem Temple is opened at the moment when it is entered by the Priest of the New and Eternal Covenant.

Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ,
in the moment of your agony you were not indifferent to humanity’s fate,
and with your last breath you entrusted to the Father’s mercy
the men and women of every age, with all their weaknesses and sins.
Fill us and the generations yet to come with your Spirit of love,
so that our indifference will not render vain in us the fruits of your death.
To you, crucified Jesus, the wisdom and the power of God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

on Good Friday 2003 at the Colosseum
in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

From the Gospel according to Mark (15:33-34, 37, 39)
And when the sixth hour had come there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice: "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?", which means: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. When the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that he thus breathed his last, he said: "Truly this man was the Son of God".

Meditation
Here we have the greatest, the most sublime work of the Son in union with the Father. Yes: in union, in the most perfect union possible, precisely at the moment when he cries: "Eloi, Eloi lama sabachthani" - "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mk 15:34; Mt 27:46). This work finds expression in the verticality of his body stretched against the perpendicular beam of the Cross and in the horizontality of his arms stretched along the transverse beam. To gaze upon those arms one would think that in the effort they expend they embrace all humanity and all the world.
They do indeed embrace it.
Here is the man. Here is God himself. "In him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). In him: in those arms outstretched along the transverse beam of the Cross.
The mystery of the Redemption.
Nailed to the Cross, pinned in that terrible position, Jesus calls on the Father. All his words bear witness that he is one with the Father. "I and the Father are one" (Jn 10:30); "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" (Jn 14:9); "My Father is working still, and I am working" (Jn 5:17).

Acclamation
Son of God, remember us, at the hour of death.
R. Kyrie, eleison.
Son of the Father, remember us, and by your Spirit renew the face of the earth.
R. Kyrie, eleison.