The Fourteenth Station
Jesus is laid in His tomb
John 19: 38-42 - After this, Joseph, who was from the town of Arimathea, asked Pilate if he could take Jesus’ body. (Joseph was a follower of Jesus, but in secret, because he was afraid of the Jewish authorities.) Pilate told him he could have the body, so Joseph went and took it away. Nicodemus, who at first had gone to see Jesus at night, went with Joseph, taking with him about one hundred pounds of spices, a mixture of myrrh and aloes. The two men took Jesus’ body and wrapped it in linen cloths with the spices according to the Jewish custom of preparing a body for burial. There was a garden in the place where Jesus had been put to death, and in it there was a new tomb where no one had ever been buried. Since it was the day before the Sabbath and because the tomb was close by, they placed Jesus’ body there.
And so, because He died, sin has no power over Him; and now He lives His life in fellowship with God. In the same way you are to think of yourselves as dead, so far as sin is concerned, but living in fellowship with God through Christ Jesus.
People have returned to their homes for the Sabbath. The streets of Jerusalem are dark and quiet after a day of noise and chaos. John, Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, and Mary go from The Place of the Skull to Jesus’ burial tomb. Joseph and John carry Jesus into the tomb. They lay him on a rock bench in the burial chamber. The men move a big boulder in front of the entrance to block it. They will have to come back after the Sabbath to finish preparing His body. They bow their heads, and sadly walk home to their own Sabbath celebrations. They all know that none of them will ever be the same again. They have been changed forever.
Lord Jesus, sometimes I really hate myself for the unkind things I say or do. Help me to let those old bad habits and ways die, so that I can experience life with You in a new and content way. The darkness that comes to be in our lives can either be seen as the darkness of a cold tomb or it can been as the darkness of a womb about to give birth to something wonderful. Lord, in my walk with You, help me to give birth to something wonderful in my life and in the lives of those around me. This I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen
Ending the walk
You have now completed the 14 Stations of the Cross. The people of St. Anne’s hope this has been a meaningful experience for you.
As you finish the walk, please do so in a contemplative manner, holding to your heart the love that Jesus offers.
If you like, pray the prayer of St. Francis (or pray your own prayer):
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace,
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be
understood as to understand, to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying
that we are born to eternal life.
Go in peace and may God bless you.
The Thirteenth Station
Jesus is taken down from the cross
Luke 23:50-53 - There was a man named Joseph from Arimathea, a town in Judea. He was a good and honourable man, who was waiting for the coming of the Kingdom of God. Although he was a member of the council, he had not agreed with their decision and action. He went into the presence of Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took the body down, wrapped it in a linen sheet, and placed it in a tomb which had been dug out of solid rock and which had never been used. It was Friday, and the Sabbath was about to begin. The women who had followed Jesus from Galilee went with Joseph and saw the tomb and how Jesus’ body was placed in it. Then they went back home and prepared the spices and perfumes for the body.
Sabbath is rapidly approaching and the crucified ones have to be taken down before the beginning of the Sabbath celebrations. The scene is one of hurrying. The crowd rushes to their homes before the beginning Sabbath or they’ll be excluded from the celebrations. The other two men crucified with Jesus appear to perhaps be still alive, so the soldiers break their legs to speed their death. More blood, more pain. In one last final blow, although they are quite certain Jesus is dead, one of the soldiers pierces Jesus’ side with a spear. More blood shed. Mary is still here. She has stayed under the cross, never leaving her Son. Joseph and Nicodemus take Jesus down from the cross. Mary can hardly bear it. How does a mother cope? She holds her child’s limp body close to her heart. She doesn’t want to give Him up, but she has to. She kisses Him and allows Him to be taken to the tomb that has been offered by their friend.
Lord Jesus, You died for me. You took my sins upon Yourself and died so my sins may be forgiven. I am truly sorry for all the ways in which I have not always followed You. I am truly sorry that I have sometimes fallen short. I truly want to please You and be at peace with myself, my family, my neighbours and this garden earth on which I live. Help me to love You more and to be grateful for all the blessings of my life. This I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen
The Twelfth Station
Jesus dies on the cross
Luke 23: 46 - Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father! In your hands I place my spirit!” He said this and died.
John 19:30 - Jesus drank the wine and said “It is finished”. Then He bowed his head and gave up His spirit.
Philippians 2:8-9 - He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death – His death on the cross. For this reason God raised Him to the highest place above and gave Him the name that is greater than any other name.
As Pilate had ordered, a soldier places, above Jesus’ head, a notice reading ‘Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” (John 19:20). The cross is hoisted into place. The three women named Mary along with John stay at the foot of the cross and pray. Jesus looks down and says to his mother “Dear woman, here is your son” and to John “Here is your mother”. The sky was dark. Jesus says “I am thirsty”. A soldier offers him wine mixed with hyssop. The two thieves that were crucified beside Him talk to Him. Looking at one of them He says, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” Jesus says, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? - My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” Then he says “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”. A few moments later He says, “It is finished”. After several hours of agony on the cross, consumed with anguish, Jesus abandons Himself to the weight of His body, bows His head, and dies.
At that instant, the earth shakes, rocks split, the curtain in the Temple rips from top to bottom. The centurion guarding Jesus sees the earth quake and says “Surely He was the Son of God”
Lord Jesus, in Your death lies my hope. Help me to remember that faith will always guide me through the losses and failures of my life. Help me to love You all the days of my life. And when my time of trial comes, give me grace to die burning with love for You. This I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
The Eleventh Station
Jesus is nailed to the cross
Psalm 22: 17 - 18 - All my bones can be seen. My enemies look at me and stare. They gamble for my clothes and divide them among themselves.
Zechariah 12:10 - I will fill the descendants of David and the other people of Jerusalem with the spirit of mercy and the spirit of prayer. They will look at the One whom they stabbed to death, and they will mourn for Him like those who mourn for an only child. They will mourn bitterly, like those who have lost their first-born son.
The soldiers grab Jesus and lie him face up on the cross stretching his arms. They hold His wrist and hand to the wood. They drive the nails with a hammer. They do the same with the other arm. Raising His knees so that His feet would lie flat, they hammer. They lift the cross high above the clamoring crowd. With His hands extended, he offers to His eternal Father the sacrifice of His life for our salvation. It was done, Jesus is left to die in anguish.
Lord Jesus, sometimes I say or do hurtful things to others. You stretched Your arms of love on the cross and by doing this You embraced everyone. Help me to bring Your love to others and cause them no hurt. Help me to follow You and bring peace to this world. This I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
The Tenth Station
Jesus is stripped of His garments
John 19: 23-25 - After the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier. They also took the robe, which was made of one piece of woven cloth without any seams in it. The soldiers said to one another, “Let’s not tear it: let’s throw dice to see who will get it.” This happened in order to make the scripture come true: “They divided my clothes among themselves and gambled for my robe.” Standing close to Jesus’ cross were his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
Luke 14: 33 - “In the same way”, concluded Jesus, “none of you can be my disciple unless he gives up everything he has.”
Jesus arrives at the Place of the Skull. To further humiliate him, the soldiers rip his clothes off him, perhaps even tearing his blood and sweat drenched skin with it. They toss the clothes into a heap on the ground. The soldiers decide to divide up the clothes and to throw dice for the most valuable one.
Lord Jesus, you set an example of truth, humility and love. Even though you were treated cruelly you continue to show us compassion and love. Help me to always be kind, respectful, considerate and to live in peace with others no matter who they may be or the circumstances. This I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
The Ninth Station
Jesus falls for a third time
Philippians 2:5-7 - The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had: He always had the nature of God, but He did not think that by force He should try to become equal with God. Instead of this, of His own free will He gave up all He had, and took the nature of a servant. He became like man and appeared in human likeness.
Luke 14:11 - For everyone who makes himself great will be humbled, and everyone who humbles himself will be made great.
Jesus continues walking, tired, in pain and pushed by the cruel, unrelenting soldiers. Jesus falls once more. They laugh at him. Here, there is no mercy. He gets up, steadies himself and walks the last few yards. He looks up and sees Golgotha - The Place of the Skull.
Lord Jesus, help me to see that nothing is greater than You. Nothing is greater than Your love for me. Help me to see that with Your help, I can do it. That you are always my friend, no matter how alone I may feel. Almighty Father, thank you for sending Jesus to us. Help me always to follow Him. This I ask in Jesus’ name.
The Eighth Station
Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
Luke 23: 27-31 - A large crowd of people followed him; among them were some women who were weeping and wailing for him. Jesus turned to them and said, “Women of Jerusalem! Don’t cry for me, but for yourselves and your children. For the days are coming when people will say, ‘How lucky are the women who never had children, who never bore babies, who never nursed them!’ That will be the time when people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Hide us!’ For if such things as these are done when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
John 15:6 - Whoever does not remain in me is thrown out like a branch and dries up; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, where they are burned.
Jesus could hear the crying of the women in the crowd. He knew they were crying with compassion and pity. But Jesus had told them before “Weep not for Me but for your children.” This is such a terrible day. If this could happen to Mary and her child. It could happen to any mother. The mothers cling to each other. They pray for their own children.
Lord Jesus, help all the mothers of this world to care for their children and keep them safe. Help me to reach out to others and to all children. Help me to see the needs of others even when I have problems and needs of my own. This I ask in Jesus’s name. Amen.
The Seventh Station
Jesus falls a second time
Hebrews 4:15 - Our High Priest is not one who cannot feel sympathy for our weaknesses. On the contrary, we have a High Priest who was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin.
Jesus is becoming exhausted. Physically spent. He is getting weaker and weaker. He loses his balance again and he stumbles and falls. Jesus struggles to getup. The crowd is noisy. His head is spinning. He tries to get up again and this time he makes it to his feet. He moves on.
Lord Jesus, you never gave up. You understand how much pain we can suffer in our lives and how hard it sometimes is to get up and keep moving. How many times have I fallen in my life. And how many times have You forgiven me and helped me get back on my feet. Help me to keep trying when life gets hard. Help me not to give up. Help me, even in the hardest times to continue being kind to others. Help me to have courage and to offer courage to others. Help me to count on You for help. This I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
The Sixth Station
Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
Isaiah 52:14 - Many people were shocked when they saw Him: He was so disfigured that He hardly looked human.
John 14: 9 - Jesus answered, “For a long time I have been with you all: yet you do not know me, Philip. Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. Why, then, do you say, “Show us the Father”?
Veronica steps towards Jesus with a wet cloth. She wants to comfort Jesus in any way she can. She feels so sorry. There is not much else she can do. She gently wipes his face. She wipes the stinging sweat out of his eyes. For a moment He feels the cool comfort on his face. The soldiers roughly push her back. They continue along their way.
Lord Jesus, there are times when I see unfairness and meanness in this world. Just as Veronica wiped your face to offer you some comfort, help me to be there to help others whenever I can and in whatever way I can. Help me to see the needs of others. Remind me to be helpful, even when I am not asked and even when it can make me feel uncomfortable by making me stand out in the crowd. This I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
The Fifth Station
Simon helps Jesus carry His Cross
Matthew 27: 30-32 - They spat on Him, and took the stick and hit Him over the head. When they had finished making fun of him, they took the robe off and put his own clothes back on Him. Then they led Him out to crucify Him.
Galatians 6:2 - Help carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will obey the law of Christ.
The soldiers see that Jesus is weak. They are afraid that He might die before He gets to the place where he is to be crucified. This will never do since the soldiers want Him to die in humiliation on the cross. The soldiers see Simon of Cyrene. A soldier pushes Simon toward Jesus telling him to carry the cross. Simon sees Jesus is bruised and bleeding . He picks up the cross. He carries it for Jesus. They move on. Simon carrying the cross for Jesus.
Lord Jesus, sometimes I pretend not to hear or not to see when someone is in need. Secretly, I hope I won’t have to get involved and that someone else will do whatever needs to be done. I leave when I know others could use my help. You gave help to everyone. When You needed help, you accepted it. Help me to give help to others and to accept help from others. Help me be a friend to the friendless. Help me to help those in need. This I ask, in Jesus’ name. Amen.