On this Good Friday, my reflections wander through the great love Christ had for us to lay down his life for us, we who can’t even keep watch with him in the Garden of Gethsemane. Humans, wounded by Original Sin, are redeemed by God becomeing one of us to do for us what we could not do because of our human nature. The price for this redemption was a sacrificial offering, the fulfillment of the sacrifice of Abraham, the completion of the Forty years wandering in the desert, the Word made flesh and dwelling among us to show us the way, the truth, and the life. And even when we humans were given the Ten Commandments, we worshiped the Golden Calf instead, we mocked did not heed the prophets to repent of our sins, we even killed the Son of the Father whom He sent into the world to show us how to be adopted sons and daughters of the Father. When Christ needed us the most, we were found asleep three times in the Garden of Gethsemane. Christ keep tell us us to pray that we not enter into temptation, but true to our nature, we slept through it all. Christ died on the cross as a ransom for many, but only John and his Mother and friends were weeping at the foot of the cross. After his death, he appeared to many, including the Apostles and disciples cowering in fear and without hope in the Upper Room. Jesus, once more, left his Real Presence for us in the form of the Second Advocate, the Spirit of Truth, to guide and energize those remnants who would be faithful to try to love others as Christ loved us. Without Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to sustain us, we lose our Faith no matter that we believe. The power of the Resurrection exists each and every day we seek God as we are, wherever we are. We lower our eyes to the dust from which we all came, not daring to look upon the one we have all crucified with our sleeping and failure to accept Jesus as our Savior, Messiah (John 20:30-31), asking only that Jesus, Son of David, to have mercy on us all, sinners. The resurrection happens each time we rise above this apathy we have created by choosing self over God. This resurrection is my chance today to rise above my slugglishness and preoccupation with putting me before I first seek the kingdom of heaven this day. Each day is a resurrection. Each day is an opportunity for me to rise above my false self to move, every so silently and slowly to God, with God’s own energy as my reward.
Here is prayer on this Good Friday that I received this morning. It is not mine, but given to me as I contemplated on the sign of the cross, the contradiction of the world, the promise of our future glory. I would ask that you read this three time, each time more slowly than before. The first time, read it for the words; the second time, pray it that God may be merciful to you and your loved ones; the third time, think Church Universal and pray for all of humans that God will be merciful and forgive the foolishness of our human nature and bring us the peace and love of Christ to share with others around us.
The passion and death by itself would be enough, but the resurrection and ascension of Christ to the Father completed the cycle and bring resonance to the dissonance of Adam and Eve (all humanity). In the section that follows the Litany, make sure that you listen to the Exultet Jam Angelica, the ancient song of the Joy that comes from waking up to the Spirit in each of us so that we can proclaim Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father. When you feel Easter in your heart as did the Apostles in the Upper Room, you have placed God in his rightful place as way, truth, and life. That in all things, may God be glorified.
THE LITANY OF MERCY AND REDEMPTION
Jesus, Our Savior, stay by our side as we weave our way down the path life has given us. We beseech you, hear us.
Lord of Love, we repent of our sins and ask for the grace of the Holy Spirit to be with us each day as we seek to do your will. We beseech you, hear us.
Lord of Light, we seek to love others as you loved us. Give us your life-giving energy on our way this day. We beseech you, hear us.
Emmanuel, God with us, we ask your forgiveness for our sins of neglect and laziness to praise you each day as we can. We beseech you, hear us.
Lord of our minds and hearts, may we sit next to you on a park bench in the middle of winter and just be with you to listen in the stillness of the snow. May it be so, Lord Jesus.
God of mercy, may we have in us the mind of Christ Jesus to flood our hearts with your Holy Spirit and call you “Abba”, Father. May it be so, Lord Jesus
God of mercy, we ask mercy on your Church for its sins against those who do not believe as we do, against innocent children by fallen clergy, against the coverups by those who seek what is easy rather than what is right. Be merciful to us, O Lord.
THE REWARD OF THE RESURRECTION
The depth of your Lenten conversion will be the reward you experience in the joy of the Resurrection. Reward always comes at the end of a period of challenge, prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and denying oneself to follow Christ each day. If you do not feel the joy of the presence of Christ as you moved from your false self to your true self, maybe you did not move at all. The price Christ paid for redemption was to suffer, die, and return with humanity as a gift to the Father in reparation for the sins of Adam and Eve. If we should follow Christ, should we do no less in our hearts?
THE EXULTET JAM ANGELICA
Listen to the ancient song of deliverance with the “ear of your heart”. (St. Benedict’s Prolog to the Rule)
Here is a wonderful YouTube from the place where I went to school, St. Meinrad Archabbey, Indiana. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmx-LA4kadQ This is the Exultet, the Easter Song of Joy. Listen to it and savor the words.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4cXnHTUCY4