1st prel. Stat.
2nd prel. Stat.
3rd prel. Stat.
The Stations of the Cross in Jerusalem - Reflection
The 13th Station:
HERE Jesus is taken down from the Cross
Time passed by and a soldier came to check on the crucified ones. He looked at them and realized that the two thieves were still alive while Jesus seemed dead. He asked for instructions from his superiors. He had to come and break the legs of the living and with a spear pierced open Jesus' side.
Cruelty building upon cruelty. All this for the sanctity of the feast. The soldiers had received orders to get rid of the dead bodies before sunset because "the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath and they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down" (Jn 19,31).
Everyone started to leave. They had to hurry to get back to their homes before the beginning of the Sabbath, otherwise they were not allowed to celebrate it.
But sitting under the cross in complete silence stood Mary with those accompanying her.
Two men were seen coming up to Calvary. They went to the soldiers and presented them with a written permission. The soldiers did not hesitate. It was Pilate's order. They had to bring down the body of Jesus and hand him over to these two persons.
One was "Joseph of Arimathea ...a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews..." the other "Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.
Taking Jesus' body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs" (Jn 19,38-40). They took Jesus from the cross and laid him on the bare ground.
His mother could see again her son. She could hug him for the last time. She could cry aloud and pray. She whispered softly "Why did they do this to you? Why had they taken you away from me?" She saw the bloodstained body and could not believe this was the same infant to whom she gave birth in the grotto and laid in a manger. She wanted to hear him scream again the scream of life, she wanted to understand fully the Mystery she had carried in her womb and who now laid there lifeless in her arms . Tears were streaming down her cheeks.
Those standing by looked over to the horizon and realized they had to hurry to bury him before the sun sets in the west. They took away the lifeless body from his mother and wrapping him in white linen cloth carried him to the tomb.
Dear Jesus, they brought you down from the cross a lifeless body. You could not react, you could not feel when they tore the nails from your body, when they carried you down and laid you on the ground. You could not see the red weeping eyes of the faithful few who remained at your cross. You could not see your mother's expression and her composed presence next to you.
You could not see but you knew! Yes Lord, seing your caring mother weeping soundlessly make me shiver, Lord. She was the "Blessed amongst women" whom you offered to us as mother.
And I cannot but repeat again and again the words of the prayer: "Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death". Thank you dear Jesus for giving us such a caring Heavenly Mother!