Stations of the Cross + Meditation: 11th Station

April 8, 2020 |

Station 11 “Jesus is nailed to the cross”


Over his head they put the charge against him, which read; “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” Then two bandits were crucified with him,
one on his right and one on his left.
Those who passed by blasphemed him,
shaking their heads and saying,
“You who would destroy the temple and built it in three days,
save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” In the same way the chief priests also,
along with the scribes and elders,
were mocking him, saying,
“He saved others; he cannot save himself.
He is the King of Israel;
let him come down from the cross now, we will believe in him.
He trusts in God; let God deliver him now,
if he wants to; for he said, ‘I am God’s Son.’”
The bandits who were crucified with him
also taunted him in the same way.
(Matthew 27:37-44)



The tree of the cross has been planted.
The altar on which the holy sacrifice will be consumed is ready.
O God, how can I look on what is about to happen?
Hard ropes are looped around your body, your wrists,
to hoist you up to the cross and then nail you fast with heavy spikes.
O Jesus, you have willed to die.
You have willed to be nailed to the cross as the scum of mankind,
as the shame of your people.
Your hands and feet are tugged toward the holes in the beam of the cross.
Already they are fastening your feet with wide unwieldy nails,
which tear apart the middle of the foot.
With heavy blows they flatten those feet under the heads of the nails.
The left hand is tied and can also be nailed.
Your right hand would have liked to embrace the executioner,
but his feelings are blunted by the work he has chosen.
He knows what he does.
You pray for him, but so much the more violent is your suffering. —
Jerusalem, oh that even on this day you might recognize who it is
that you are fastening to the wood of the cross.
But the most frightful of Jesus’ suffering is
that his love is not appreciated.
Mocking, they stand around him and challenge him to free himself,
now that he is nailed fast.
They mock at his powerlessness,
while one word,
one act of his will,
would have destroyed them all.


Rolf Willemsen, O. Carm.
Fr. Rolf "Nepi" Willemsen, O. Carm., is a Carmelite priest living in Joliet, IL.
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