Thursday, March 20, 2008

Holy Week Meditations

I have slacked off this week.  Here are the meditations for Holy Week.

Holy Monday, March 17

Lessons for the Day:  Isaiah 42:1-9;  Hebrews 9:11-15;  John 12:1-11

The three readings for today, taken together, make an extraordinary, connected line from the presage of Jesus in Isaiah, predicting God's 'chosen one', 'a light to the nations', 'new things not yet come'.  In John, Jesus has not only come but fulfilled the prediction, becoming a light to many.  He is in the house of Lazarus whom he raised from the dead.  But here one sees the divisions among those who hear his word.  Mary is anointing Jesus feet with expensive ointment.  Judas asks why the money it cost wasn't given to the poor.  And we hear of all those who come to hear Jesus because he raised the dead (not for his Word of Love).  Finally, the letter to the Hebrews first speaks of Jesus as ' The High Priest of the good things that have come'.  Then his death is defined as the perfect sacrifice to redeem mankind from all transgressions.

Looking at all three together I see the prophecy revealed but also the hostility to the new message; taught in parables, shown in miracles, based not on the law but on unconditional love.  Since it did not change every life, it was for those whose life it DID change to carry it on.   Many of the early saints sacrificed their lives to spread the Good News of Jesus.  St. Patrick who we honor  today spent his life traveling and spreading the word of Christ.  The lives of the saints and their words give amazing testimony to the lengths of sacrifice they endured gladly for their Lord.

We may be far weaker vessels, but, in these disquieting times, it is for us by our actions, our personal choices and our love of one another to spread the Jesus' message of Peace and to be the Light of Jesus' Love in the world.  I'm constantly reminded of

the song many of us know and used to shout out - ' This Little Light of Mine, I'm going to Let it Shine'.  Its not only immensely cheering, but, really, its the whole point and message.


Holy Tuesday: March 18

Lessons: Isaiah 49:1-7;  1 Corinthians 1:18-31;  John 12:20-36

From Isaiah – The Lord called me from the womb…

From 1 Corinthians – God chose what is foolish in the world [and] God chose what is weak in the world…

From John – Shall I say ‘Father, save me from this hour’?  No, for this purpose I have come to this hour.


Doesn’t it seem we all have a calling?  Whether it is listening, working tirelessly, or sharing song, healing, wisdom, leadership, good food, or simple affection.  When we examine ourselves closely, we all do have unique gifts.  Lent seems a good season to reflect on why the Lord called each one of us from the womb. 

These callings need not be magnificent - God chooses from among the foolish and weak - but rest assured that we are called.  

But how do we respond to our calls? 


Often I respond: Father, save me from this hour! 

But that is not the best response, because it is for these purposes that we were called.



Holy Wednesday: March 19

Lessons for the Day:  Isaiah 50z;4-9; Hebrews 12:1-3;  John 13:21-32

This passage deals with the disciples at the Last

Supper finding out that one of them was going to

betray Jesus and them wanting to find out who it was. 

I could imagine how they felt - physically - when they

heard this information.  I imagine they had a true

pain in their guts because of the way they felt toward

Jesus.  Certainly an uneasy feeling and maybe a

generally nervous-shaking body.  The way one feels

when you know or think something awful is going to

happen to you or a loved one.  The way you feel when

you just avoided an accident on the highway - a

tension that occurs then slowly goes away when you

realize that you are safe.  It makes me wonder how

they could have even eaten under those conditions. 

    I'd like to finish with the next words Jesus will

say as written by Tim Rice in Andrew Lloyd Weber's

"Jesus Christ Superstar"  "For all you care, this

bread could be my body.  For all you care, this wine

could be my blood.  The end.  This is my blood you

drink, this is my body you eat.  If you will, remember

me when you eat and drink."



Maundy Thursday: March 20
Lessons for the Day:  Exodus 12:1-14;  1 Corinthians 11:23-26;  John 13:1-17, 31b-35


There is always a sad time of the church's season, the beginning of Lenten season, preparation for Jesus Christ crucifixion, death, and his resurrection.  You all must be familiar with the picture of Jesus Christ praying on his knees in the garden of Gethsenine.  Do you feel the coldness of the ground and the coldness of the rock? 


Psalms have a deep meaning for all who really should absorb their messages.  Psalm 25 v1-11, "To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; my God, I putmy trust in you; let me not be humiliated, nor let my enemies triumph over me.  Let none who look to you be put to shame; let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes.  Show me your ways, O LORD, and teach me your paths.  Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; in you have I trusted all the day long.  Remember, O LORD, your compassion and love, for they are from everlasting.  Remember not the sins of my youth and my transgressions; remember me according to your love and for the sake of your goodness, O LORD.  Gracious and upright is the LORD; therefore he teaches sinners in his way.  He guides the humble in doing right and teaches his way to the lowly.  All the paths of the LORD are love and faithfulness to those who keep his covenant and his testimonies,  For your Name's sake, for give my sin, for it is great.  Who are they who fear the LORD?  he will teach them the way that they should choose."