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Station Thirteen: Jesus Is Taken Down From the Cross

by davesandel on September 26th, 2019

This was written by Dan Frachey, Director of Springfield, Illinois’ Franciscan Chiara Retreat Center. He says, “I was walking the Stations of the Cross in downtown Springfield on Friday (Good Friday, April 19, 2019) when I heard the 13th station I had written last year. I thought, Hey! That’s what Dave was asking about!” Attached is the document that he wrote on March 15, 2018:

STATION THIRTEEN: Jesus is taken down from the Cross

At 5th and Capitol Streets, looking toward Jackson – Governor’s Mansion.

Song: And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on, and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on. And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be, and through eternity, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on, and from eternity, I’ll sing on.

“As for the dead being raised, have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God told him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead but of the living.”              – Mark 12:26-27

Perhaps it is simply too distressing to ponder how death and life are such strange travelling companions in this earthly existence of ours. To see these two abiding together in casual conversation is deeply troubling to our spirits, but that is part of Divine Mystery’s own plan that we must accept.

Our finite minds approach and encounter death with great fear. Once the blade of that proverbial scythe has done its task of severing us from this earthly reality, that long handle then serves as a walking stick for a continued journey, for indeed, there’s much travelling ahead!

Jesus body, now fully drained of its vitality and light is darkened and limp. For the family members and disciples standing at the cross, it certainly appears as if their time with Jesus has come to a bitter end. The only appropriate thing to do is to carefully and prayerfully bring the body to its resting place. They wail with grief and disbelief that their hopes in Jesus’s promises for new life are just as lifeless. Death seems so final.

Yes, there are times when it seems as if we here, the collective sons and daughters of the Beloved stumble in the street, suffer and then die a humiliating public death. We lament and fear how the powers of the day can oppress and even deliver mortal blows to our collective desire to embody compassion, hope and justice – the Kingdom come.

Though we all suffer, “Love incarnate” has redeemed all of humanity so let us believe that the time will come when we all rise to full stature! As we remember “Love coming down from the cross,” we begin to reconcile how both death and life are woven within each of us. This is a strange paradox that has the power to offer a vision of hope, loving response and new life, even as we reckon with the Mystery amidst this world’s travails.

RESPONSE:

O God of the Living / though death be sewn into our collective fabric, help us to trust that those dark threads are part of your plan to create a magnificent tapestry – one that depicts a wondrous story of love that endures and fulfills your vision for humanity redeemed!

Also see devotion for Monday, March 19, 2018: http://www.davesandel.net/of-the-body-and-the-life-everlasting/

 

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