Stations of the Cross at Elon

12th Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross

The sky darkens. Jesus and the two thieves losing strength as they listen to taunts from below them.

Jesus expends more strength to speak. In prayer he asks forgiveness for his persecutors. With comforting words he reassures the good thief. He asks his friend and beloved disciple to look after his Mother. And he prays to his Father in the words of the psalmist: "My God, my God, why have you forgotten me?"

He senses the dryness in his mouth and on his lips, but forgets his thirst to complete his prayer, and offers his spirit to the Father.

Even as he dies Jesus is concerned for those around him.

In the midst of our own pain or difficulties, are we still able to see someone else in need? Or are we always too pre-occupied to notice them?

Can we forgive those who've somehow hurt us? Do we pray for those we envision as somehow persecuting us?

"Thy will be done." As in his life so in his death Jesus' will is one with the Father's. Jesus dies that we might live, that we might be able to overcome our own suffering, sin, and death, that we might be able to give our spirit over to the will of the Father, and thus enter into eternal life.

What's our response to this act of love? Do we see his death only as past history, for others of another time, another place, not really personal for me? Are we able to see physical death, the death of a loved one or our own, as the emptying of ourselves for eternal life?

Jesus is one with us: with us in our life, our suffering, and our death. Jesus did die for us. Are we, his followers today, as willing to live and to die for him?