Eleventh Station

Jesus is nailed to the cross

From the Gospel according to Luke (23:33-34)

When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

1992 073 012 V0001 1George Tooker (American, 1920–2011), Drawings for “The Stations of the Cross,” 1984, Pencil on tracing paper. Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame. Gift of the artist. 1992.073.012


As we look to the dying Jesus, we see the dying world from COVID-19, diseases, violence, poverty, loneliness and neglect. Jesus died the death of the unborn, infants, teens, young adults, middle-aged, and elders. All races, creeds, orientations—gay, straight, transgender, heterosexuals—and all God’s children will die. We have to let go of what is most our own and trust that we did not die in vain.

As Jesus hangs between heaven and earth, he asks us to look our mortality straight in the face and trust that death does not have the last word. We can then look at the dying in our world and give them hope; we can hold their dying bodies in our arms and trust that mightier arms than ours will receive them and give them the peace and joy they always desire.

In dying all humanity is one. And it was into this dying humanity that God entered so as to give us hope.

– Fr. James Bracke, C.S.C., Staff Chaplin

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