- The eleventh station – jesus is nailed to the cross.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless yo
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Luke 23:33-43 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)
When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, ‘He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!’ The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, ‘If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!’ There was also an inscription over him, ‘This is the King of the Jews.’
One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, ‘Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’ But the other rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into[g] your kingdom.’ He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’
The law exists to keep relationships ‘right’. When someone sufficiently oversteps certain marks they stand over and against society and its values. Judgement is society’s way of correcting these transgressions. Criminals are those who defy the law and here, Jesus, the lover of men, the healer of the sick, the raiser of the dead and forgiver of sins is cast out with the criminals. They are his last companions apart from John and Mary, his mother. This certainly was not the end Mary had probably foreseen for her son. But Jesus is not ashamed to hang with those whom society calls criminals. He came to call such people back into God’s embrace and gaze. His concern to be always doing His Father’s will is exemplified by the conversation he has with those two thieves. They, even there, are not outside the Father’s invitation to forgiveness and life. Perhaps the ‘good’ thief can sense this whilst his friend cannot, or chooses not to. Even in this hour of death and desperation Jesus loving concern for his ‘brother’ is evident.
DoI feel that I have stepped outside of a relationship with Jesus through my faults? Is the best I can do to be counted as one of the slaves or servants? Do I even want to be received back into the Father’s loving, forgiving, embrace? How do I feel about the fact that nothing can stand between us and the love of God seen in Christ? Not even my sins…?
Our Father………..Glory be……………Hail Mary………….
Jesus, may I be true and honest with you and have no fear of punishment but, rather, open my life to your healing forgiveness and love. Amen