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Of the many eternal contributions to the Christian faith offered by St. Francis of Assisi, the Stations of the Cross may be his most enduring. To this day devout Christians, especially those in the Catholic tradition, process through a solemn ritual on Good Friday that puts them face-to-face with the sufferings and passion of Christ. The fourteen stations of the cross follow in the footsteps of Jesus in his final hours, from being condemned to death to being laid in the tomb.

On this eve of Good Friday, I offer a reflection on the twelfth station from my heroes at Pax Christi.

Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross

Is is done. It is finished.

But what is over. Certainly not the life of Jesus, not his promise of the victory of justice and peace and freedom? No, the reign of God is just beginning.

What is done and finished is the reign of destruction, violence, death and sin. Now the peace of God reigns, but what a harsh and dreadful peace it is. Do you want to be a peacemaker? Jesus shows us that in being stretched between two enemies we become reconcilers, transforming enmity into love, adversaries into friends. Peace comes through nonviolently resisting injustice unto death.

O God, into your hands we commend our lives. Incarnate in us the peace of Christ and give us to the world.

We adore you, Christ, and we bless you. By the power of your holy cross help us to change the world.


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