Monday, April 10, 2017

Monday in Holy Week

 
 
Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,
 
Matthew 21:1-11
Isaiah 50:4-7
Psalm 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24
Philippians 2:6-11

Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit. (Matthew 27:50)

Saints like Ignatius Loyola and Teresa of Ávila have taught that using our imagination in prayer can help us to grow in our faith. So let’s take their advice today as we read the passion of our Lord.
 
First, picture yourself with Jesus as he is arrested and brought before the chief priests. Listen as they level false charges against him. See him mourn over the way these men are bound in anger and hatred toward him.
 
Next, picture Jesus being humiliated by the soldiers. Watch as they spit upon him, mock him, and beat him. The challenge to hold his peace is overwhelming, but Jesus remains resolute and focused on his mission.
 
Now picture him at Calvary. He is exhausted. His body is wracked with pain and weariness. Nails have pierced his hands and feet. The pain sears through his body as the soldiers raise the cross. The suffering is enormous as the crowd continues to jeer and hurl accusations against him. Nonetheless, Jesus looks at us with compassion, understanding, and mercy. He will not accuse! He will not condemn! All he wants is our salvation.
 
Watching Jesus as he nears the end, you hear him speak to one of the thieves crucified with him. You think to yourself, “Even now he is still leading people to his Father!” Finally, you hear him cry out in a loud voice as he hands over his spirit—for you.
 
These are only a few of the events that encompass Jesus’ passion. Try to read and reflect on these scenes, or choose some other scenes from today’s Gospel: the Last Supper, Jesus’ agony in the garden, or Peter’s denial. Contemplate the passion story today. Let it move you to treasure Jesus above all others. This is the greatest story ever told.
 
“Jesus, I am overwhelmed by the love you poured out for me in your passion and death. Thank you, Lord.”

Father Ed Bakker,
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Launceston on Tasmania
Australia

 

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