We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
There are a few thoughts that come to mind when looking at this station – many thoughts indeed – but two that seem to re-emerge. One is of people living with disability, old age or infirmity. Their hands and feet quite literally tied and unable to move due to one condition or other. Jesus’ hands used to healing are rendered powerless beneath the enforced control of the nails. Likewise his legs and feet that walked to so many places and into the lives of so many people – from the young newlyweds in Cana to the bedroom of the a young child lying in but to be drawn from the arms of death. Hands that blessed, cured, nourished – feet that walked for many – rendered powerless. This station, I sometimes think, speaks to those who feel so restrained. Jesus seeks to focus them and all of us on what is central “Father, into your hands I commend my Spirit”. It’s as if he’s saying the body is a passing thing and that, in the passing, many changes take place but that the Spirit is the central. It is on the Spirit we must focus and IN the Spirit we must seek to come before God.
A second thought from this station focuses on what leads to cruelty between people. How could any man, even a solider obeying orders, use hammer and nails to inflict pain on another? The hammer and nails, in the right hands of a well-intentioned man or woman are tools of mending and creating. The tools of the trade and the trade is honourable. In the wrong hands, they are weapons – used to instill fear and to exert control. The hammer and nails, in and by themselves, can harm nobody. It’s when they’re put in the wrong hands the story of cruelty emerges.
As we look then at this station, we might do well to give a bit of thought to the potential for use or misuse of tools, even of weapons. Maybe too, we could make a firm resolve for peace. It’s also an invitation to pray for peace and the ending of cruelty in its many forms.
Oh, that today we would listen to his voice, let us harden not our hearts.