Stations of the Cross + Meditation: 12th Station

April 8, 2020 |

Station 12 “Jesus dies on the cross”


From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.
And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’
that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ When some of the bystanders heard it, they said,
‘This man is calling for Elijah.’
At once one of them ran and got a sponge,
filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink.
But the others said,
‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.’
Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last.
Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said,
‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’
(Matthew 27:45-50,54)



Jesus bowed his head and died.
It is finished.
His body hanging from the wounds in hands and feet.
The Lord is tortured to death.
The weight of the body stretched the limbs even further,
and it pulls heavily on the holes of the nails.
Your enemies watched you, pleased and happy.
Nothing was left of your grandeur and splendor.
From your mouth, O Jesus, we hear the bitter complaint,
“O God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
Here is the test of your faith.
Here, O God, even your human nature appears to be destroyed.
We like to think of you as the King of Israel
and cannot imagine the frightful destruction, which, not only as God,
but even as man, you willed to undergo.
We want to see your divinity and forget that you have said,
“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”
This is the test but also the victory of our faith. —
O God, I adore you in your annihilation, in your death on the cross.
I will not cease to see you just as you are now,
so that I might learn how dearly God has loved me.


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