XII. Jesus dies.

Play this music to prepare for prayer.

Behold your heart and the world that it holds.

Station 12

No one deserves to die this way.
Especially not Jesus–him who loved people so much,
who helped them and healed them,
and wanted nothing more for them
than a joyful life.
But neither did his companions deserve to die this way:
Not the so-called “good thief” who defended him.
And not even the other, embittered one.
To die in such pain, in such isolation,
To be in such a brink of despair–
That’s no way to way to spend your last moments on earth.
That’s no way to breathe your last.

I’ve heard a lot of people say
that what they want
is “a quick painless death.”
“I want to die in my sleep,”
they say.
“Or I want to die
without knowing what hits me.”

People used to pray
for the grace of a “good Christian death”
–meaning, that we die in a state of grace.
It may not be a quick or painless death;
a good Christian death could well be a painful one,
even a violent one.
What defines it is not the absence of pain,
but the presence of trust–
trust that even in death,
especially in death,
we are in God’s good, tender, and loving hands.

Our Lord died such a death.
It was anything but a “quick painless death.”
It was slow–excruciatingly slow.
It was agonizingly painful
not only physically,
but also emotionally and spiritually.

For the Lord didn’t die
surrounded by his loved ones.
On the contrary, all around him
was that hostile, cruel crowd.

Jesus died a lonely death:
No could hold his hand
as he hanged on his cross.
The last sound he would hear
would not be assurances of love,
but the harsh words of mockery.

Yet against every odd,
he trusted.
Until his last breath,
he kept the faith
that he was in the Father’s good hands,
that he was not alone.

One of the most painful tragedies
about this pandemic is
that many have to die alone in hospitals, 
far from home and loved ones,
deprived of their companionship,
unable to say any proper goodbye.
But they are not alone.

Many goodhearted doctors and nurses do their best
to make up for the absence and distance of loved ones.
One CNN report recounts how a nurse
at Swedish Issaquah hospital in Washington
made sure her 75-year old patient
could Facetime with her daughter before she died.

But more importantly:
We never die alone
precisely because Jesus died alone.

No matter how lonely our deaths,

no matter how frightening,
no matter how violent,
we are not alone.
Our Lord is there, close by.
And the reason is,
he himself went through
a lonely, frightening, and violent death.
He’s “been there, done that”
–and as a result, our Lord is present;
he is near always.

I don’t know about you,
but this is a source of such great comfort for me.
To know that those who spent their last moments
away from loved ones
were, in fact, not alone.
To be certain that our Lord held their hand
and waited with them and for them–
This is consoling.

Let us spend this time remembering all those
who did not survive the coronavirus disease,
those who died away from their loved ones
because they could not visit them.

Let us pray especially for those we know personally.
We pray for the repose of their souls
and the consolation of their families.
And we pray for so many others who are seriously ill–
that they may draw strength from our Lord Jesus:
Our crucified Lord accepted such a death
so that we–all of us–might have life eternal.

If you wish, take a minute to say your prayers
to the tolling of the UP-PGH Chapel bell.
This hospital bell is rung at 8 pm every night
to call people to pray for protection
at this time of the pandemic.

“Behold the Wood” (St. Louis Jesuits). Image for Station (Fratel Venzo).
In commemoration of 110 years of Jesuit-PGH partnership,
the chapel bell of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH)
was donated by Gaudencio P. Pamaos,
and the bell tower was erected
in memory of Dr. Aproniano C. Tangco and Dr. Mercedes M. Oliver.
The UP-PGH Chapel Bell is featured here
courtesy of PGH Chaplain, Fr. Lito Ocon SJ.

Feel free to share your thoughts, questions, and prayers below.

If you wish, visit ENTRUST, our virtual prayer wall.
Post your prayer intention there.
Share your prayers with our global faith community.

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11 replies on “XII. Jesus dies.”

We had 5 deaths in 1 one night in the ICU I work in due to this pandemic…..
Indeed it is quite consoling, that the Lord was holding their hands waiting with them and for them…
Thank you dear Lord…

Lord, if I die, let me experience the beauty of it again. Death can be the most beautiful thing in the world. God shall provide so much consolation, on those who call Him, a last breath of His life.

Lord, let me put my trust in You. I trust You and I entrust to You my everything. I entrust to You every single person in this earth.

In the midst of fear, anxiety, guilt and unknown future. Let me have that assurance Oh Lord, that I will not die alone. You are with me. My deepest desire in life is to die in your grace.

Dear Lord, no words can show our appreciation for Your Love & Redemption for us unworthy sinners. We need to imitate Your love and kindness. Thank you Fr, for posting these Stations that we may ponder on His sufferings especially during this coming Holy Week and meditate on our Lord, His Passion, Death & Resurrection. Praying for everyone during this pandemic, esp those who have died. Lord Jesus, Your will be done. I trust in You! God bless, and stay safe!

Dear Lord,

Thank you for your great love for us . You died for us to save us all from our sins so that by your dying, we may have life eternal.
Even as we live, though, we can still die to our selves. As we die to our selves, we no longer live as who we are but YOU live in us.
This pandemic, as we are locked down to our own space, has brought us to many awakenings and realizations where the things of the old life (before Covid19) are put or should be put to death, most especially our sinful ways and lifestyles we once engaged, including how we have abused Mother earth.
May our dying to self bring new life knowing that no one can come to you Lord unless we are willing to see our old life crucified with you and begin to live anew in obedience to your will and to what is only pleasing to you.
Grant us this grace during this Holy week as we commemorate your passion, death and resurrection.

My special prayers this Holy week, for those who have died during this pandemic.

Dear Lord thank you for being with our brothers & sisters who has passed away due to this Covid disease. Even if their loved ones could not be at their bedside you were there to comfort them.
Thank you also Lord for being with those who are sick. Please give them the strength & will to fight this battle with this disease.
Thank you for giving our medical frontliners the strength to go on & cure the people infected with this disease.
Lord i know that you are with us during this time of crisis. Give us the strength to endure.
Amen

Dear Lord,
You died on the Cross to redeem us from our sins.
On this anniversary season of Your Crucifixion
and Death — behold the Wood of the Cross —
we pray, Lord redeem us from this crisis.
Bless us, Lord!

Every time I hear a bell, I will always remember the voice of God saying, “You are not alone.”

Hold, the sick, Lord Jesus. Hold them tight.
Take their hands, Lord Jesus. Take their hands.
Cradle them, Lord. Embrace them with so much love.
If it is Your will to take them with You, Lord,
give them a kiss for us. We love them, Lord.
We love them very much.
We love them very much.
(You know what is in our hearts. Please save them.)

For all those who died of this Pandemic, alone , whose bodies could not even be claimed by their loved ones. May they be carried to their heavenly home, the great consolation…..

For thy great love Lord, thank you! Thank you for the gift of life, for waking up each day knowing that you are with us even in death. We continue to hang on and trust in you, hoping and praying that in God’s time, this will soon be over.

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