Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Monday 14 June |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Francisa de Paula de Jesus Isabel
home iconChurch
line break icon

Text of the Stations of the Cross for 2020, led by Pope Francis


Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Aleteia - published on 04/09/20

The Twelfth Station
Jesus dies on the Cross

Walwyn | Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

(Meditation by a civil magistrate)

It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit”. And having said this he breathed his last(Lk 23:44-46).

As a civil magistrate, I cannot crucify a man, any man, to the sentence he is serving: that would mean sentencing him a second time. He has to pay for the wrong he did: not to do so would mean trivializing his crimes, justifying the intolerable actions he carried out that caused physical and moral suffering to others.

True justice, however, is possible only through a mercy that does not crucify an individual for ever, but becomes a guide in helping him to get up and to realize the goodness that, for all the wrong he has done, is never completely extinguished in his heart. Only by finding his own humanity again will the convicted person be able to see himself in others, in the victim to whom he caused such pain. As much as his path of rebirth can be tortuous and the risk of falling back into evil remains always present, there is no other way to try to rebuild his own personal and communal history.

The severity of a sentence puts a person’s hope to a hard test: it helps him to reflect and question whether the reasons for his actions might become an opportunity to consider himself from another perspective. To do this, though, he has to learn how to recognize the person hidden behind the crime committed. In this process, it sometimes becomes possible to glimpse a horizon that can instil hope in that person and once his sentence has been served, to return to society and hope that people will welcome him back after having rejected him.

For all of us, even those convicted of a crime, are children of the same human family.

Lord Jesus, you died as the result of a corrupt conviction, handed down by unjust judges terrified by the irrepressible force of the Truth. We entrust to your Father all magistrates, judges and lawyers and ask that they may be upright in carrying out their service to the State and its citizens, especially those who suffer the effects of poverty.

Let us pray.

O God, King of justice and peace, you heard in the cry of your Son the cry of all humanity. Teach us not to identify the person with the wrong he has done and help us to see in everyone the living flame of your Spirit. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
Miracle prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
Philip Kosloski
Offer your heart to Jesus with this prayer
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
Kathleen N. Hattrup
The short prayer Pope Francis says every night
Philip Kosloski
5 Things to know about the Sacred Heart feast
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.