Stations of the Cross + Meditation: 13th Station

April 8, 2020 |

Station 13 “Jesus is taken down from the cross”


After these things,
Joseph of Arimathea,
who was a disciple of Jesus,
though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission;
so he came and removed his body.
(John 19:38)




It is finished.
Death has put an end to bodily suffering.
The God-Man has become a corpse. Life has passed away.
Now that the rage of your executioners can do no more to make you suffer because the measure is full,
you are left to your friends.
A dead man, Jesus, covered with shame,
whose death will make him known to the world
as one whose life deserved the deepest disgrace,
can be left to his disciples.
For the first time they see how frightfully their beloved Jesus has suffered.
They stood afar off and were not even permitted in the vicinity.
Now they come and carefully take him down
from the tree of shame to which he was nailed. —
O Jesus, with your friends let me look on your body,
tortured to death and unrecognizable,
and see how you have loved me.
No, let not my eyes avoid the sight of that frightful deformity
of which my imagination can form only the slightest idea.


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