The Thirteenth Station:
Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
My Jesus, it was with deep grief that Mary finally took You into her arms and saw all the wounds sin had inflicted upon You. Mary Magdalene looked upon Your dead Body with horror. Nicodemus, the man so full of human respect, who came to You by night, suddenly received the courage to help Joseph take you down from the Cross. You are once more surrounded by only a few followers. When loneliness and failure cross my path, let me think of this lonely moment and this total failure – failure in the eyes of all. How wrong they were – how mistaken their concept of success! The greatest act of love was given in desolation and the most successful mission accomplished and finished when all seemed lost. Is this not true in my life, dear Jesus? I judge my failures harshly. I demand perfection instead of holiness. My idea of success is for all to end well – according to my liking.
Give to all the grace to see that doing Your Will is more important than success. If failure is permitted for my greater good then teach me how to use it to my advantage. Let me say as You once said, that to do the Will of the Father is my food. Let not the standards of this world take possession of me or destroy the good You have set for me – to be Holy and to accomplish the Father’s Will with great love. Let me accept praise or blame, success or failure with equal serenity. Amen.
Prayer for the Thirteenth Station of the Cross
It’s so tempting to want to skip this week and go from the fun of Palm Sunday to the eggs and bright colors of Easter. Every year I always wish I could leap from one Sunday afternoon to the next without dealing with the awkward meal, the betrayal, the beating and all the blood. So many times I have listened, read or watched versions of that last 24 hours and wondered if there is possibly anything worse than being Jesus that Friday afternoon? Was there anything more painful than hanging from a cross? There was, it was being his mother and watching everything from below.
I don’t know how she did it, but somehow through it all, Mary stayed, the women couldn’t get her to leave. Her child demanded so much but asked for so little, always a mysterious boy whom she couldn’t predict or protect. There must have been a million times she wanted to hide him, keep him home, quiet and safe. Have him deny who he was and convince him to settle down with a nice girl and continue the family business. Mary resisted and instead, she let go. She allowed Jesus to do what he needed to do, what God needed him to do.
One of my favorite hymns is “How Deep The Father’s Love For Us” is often sung this time of year. The opening lines are:
How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns his face away
As wounds which mar the chosen one
Bring you and I to glory.
Easter reminds us of how the great love of a Father but also of a mother. It challenges us that we need to let go of those we love, we need to allow them to be exactly who God created them to be. Despite knowledge of dangers and possible hurts, God loves them even more than we do and they are safer in his arms than in ours.