Time? Would it exist if we did not mark or measure it? A gift, or a ‘given’, an axiom of existence? I recommend this posting from the Vatican Observatory website by Fr James Kurzynski to ponder on time and how we live and move and have our being in it.
An ongoing Happy Easter to All! Will.
JESUS IS STRIPPED
Our witness is a Samaritan woman who met Jesus by the side of Jacob’s Well. He told her everything she had ever done.
Her story is given in Saint John, Chapter 4, vv 5-26
I know this man. He sat down and talked to me. He looked into my heart, my broken heart, but he did not mock me.
I told everyone I knew about him, then I followed him. Even to Jerusalem where I’m hardly welcome.
He was welcome on Sunday.
Now they strip the clothes off his body, his broken body. They jeer at his bruised and broken body. They mock him, but he did not mock me.
Lord, we do not always remember that the bodies and hearts of your people are where you have chosen to live. Help us to see and hear the Good News whoever brings it to us.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Photos from the Missionaries of Africa
Two posts today!
Our long-neglected copy of the Dutch catechism provided a thought for Valentine’s Day. Here is another excerpt (p162 of the 1978 edition) that recalls us to the joy of the first Palm Sunday.
A week before Easter, Mass is preceded by a procession, with hymns in honour of Jesus as King. Branches of greenery, or real palms, blessed for the occasion and carried in the procession, are taken home by the faithful. The palms are hung up in the house, a sign that we are sharing the gesture of love and reverence made by the Jews. Sometimes these sprigs are used to sprinkle holy water.
So another Christian tradition inherited from our elders! And a reminder that our religion is not an intellectual exercise, but body, blood, soul and humanity for our part, responding to body, blood, soul, humanity and divinity on Jesus’.
JESUS MEETS THE WOMEN
James and John were with Jesus in Jerusalem, and so, no doubt was their mother, Mrs Zebedee, for it was just before Jesus went up to Jerusalem that she asked him to give them special places in his Kingdom.
Now she sees him on the way to Calvary . . .
The story of Mrs Zebedee is told at Matthew, 20:17-23. Jesus’ meeting with the women on the Way of the Cross is told by St Luke (22.27-31).
I know this man. I followed him, him and my boys, all the way to Jerusalem.
We wouldn’t have it when he said he would be handed over and killed.
We were sure it would work out better than this. Only last Sunday the people acclaimed him, the King who comes.
Now Pilate calls him King of the Jews and sends him out to die.
I put my boys forward — any mother would — I knew they would work hard for him.
But now he tells us, weep for yourselves and your children.
Oh God, Is this the cup my boys have to drink?
JESUS FALLS UNDER THE CROSS
Our witness is a man who was cured by Jesus. He was lame, but now can walk.
You will find his story in Saint Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 9, vv 2-8.
I know this man. Jesus took away my sins. He said they were forgiven.
Then he told me to get up, pick up my bed, and walk home.
Now he is down, under the weight of the cross, too heavy to pick up, too far from home. Crushed by the weight of our sins.
Lord, many people are far from home, or crushed by sorrow or sin.
Help us to care for them, to make them welcome, to show them your love.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.
JESUS TAKES UP HIS CROSS
Luke tells us the young man was one of the aristocracy. He would have been well known to Herod and the High Priestly Families, and able to gain entry anywhere in Jerusalem, including the Roman fort. Luke tells the story in Chapter 18, 18-23
I know this man; He is a good man, a good man.
He seemed to have something, to know something, something I could never quite get hold of. Something I could not understand.
I kept the law as well as anyone — God knows I tried to live by the rules. I should have been happy, knowing I was doing what God wanted but happiness was always just out of reach.
The Kingdom of God, Jesus said, is among you; it is close at hand, it belongs to the children. If you want to get there welcome the Kingdom like a child. Sell everything, give the money to the poor and follow me.
Follow him? Now?
Let us pray :
Lord, show us what we need to throw away to be able to take up our cross and follow you — now. Show us that you are at hand when life is difficult. Lord in your mercy.
Brocagh School, Glenfarne, Leitrim, c1969.
We invite you to walk the Via Crucis – the Way of the Cross – with us during these final days of Lent.
There are one or two differences between these Stations and the traditional order seen in most Catholic Churches. These have been made to bring the Stations closer to the events as told in the Gospels, and to finish the Way of the Cross at its true destination – the new life for which it is a signpost.
Each station is described by someone from the Gospels who would have gone up to Jerusalem for the Passover. Every one of their lives was changed by Jesus; now they are witnesses to his passion and death. Witnesses, not merely observers: as they tell us, each one knows this man Jesus.
The meditations refer back to their encounters with Jesus. We see them learning what sort of person he was. Opening the Gospels at these passages in the light of the Passion story, may we open our hearts to let the Spirit work in us. The Scriptural reference is given for each meditation.
The question, ‘Why did he have to die?’ is not an easy one to answer. These stations show how the lack of understanding, the falling short of total commitment of so many of his contemporaries — even those close to him — were part of the climate that allowed the crucifixion to happen.
You are invited to pray in solidarity with these bewildered bystanders, who, for all their failings, were good people; each of them loved, or wanted to love Jesus. At the end, none could halt his Way of the Cross. And each of them suffered a personal, private, crucifixion.
We need Jesus’ help to accept our own sufferings as the cross to be taken up daily, to follow him. We know at one level that we must suffer, but perhaps find it a long lesson to deal with it when it comes.
I have told you this now before it happens, so that when it does happen you may believe. John 14:29.
Jesus tells us his truth – then it has to become alive in us by working itself out within each of us in our crucifixion and resurrection. Thomas Merton.
(These Stations were presented at Saint Thomas’ Church Canterbury.)
Peacefully residing within the enclaves of Worcester Cathedral:
the Stone Angel wrapped in white, marble, marzipan folds
centring and guiding rivers flowing towards clasped hands
grasped earnestly together
holding onto prayer
of mysteries beyond
An inanimate idol?
Or a reminder of the joy
And peace to be found in
A nexus of matter:
hinting, suggesting, reminding
to save a place in our day
to consider the inconsiderable.
19 February, 2018
Thank you Constantina, for reminding us to consider the inconsiderable, the infinity in a grain of sand or piece of stone.
This stone angel is in York Minster, a little dusty when its photo was taken, but still a reminder.
The other evening we had a Pilgrims’ shared prayer and meal evening, ten or so of us members of L’Arche Kent. We prayed:
Father in heaven,
May the holy season of Lent
bring us your blessing and your forgiveness
and the gift of your light.
We had hearts printed on card and filled them with light, and pictures and words to represent our homes and the people we wanted to share in God’s blessing and light. Art in L’Arche.
My reflection afterwards was more on the practical details (it’s important to get these right!) so it was good to be recalled to the joys of Art in L’Arche by someone hiding behind the name interwebconvos who has been writing about her/his experience of art in L’Arche. S/he also shared these blogs:
Here you can read of an encounter with an artist at L’Arche Daybreak in Toronto, and here is Debra’s account of making pumpkin pies at L’Arche.
It was good to be reminded of these events, and to remember encounters and conversations in my own life with L’Arche. I won’t start now, I’ve given you enough reading material for one day!
The pebble heart was from another friend, one we ought to introduce to L’Arche some time!
A reminder that our own Fr Tom Herbst OFM is leading three evenings of reflection this Lent at St Thomas’ Church Hall, Iron Bar Lane, Canterbury.
We are invited to join those who are to be baptised at Easter and those who are to be received into full communion in the Catholic Church (RCIA Group).
The one Reflection remaining is:
Tuesday 13 Mach, 7 p.m. : The Raising of Lazarus. (John 11: 1-45)
Take our word for it: these evenings will be well worth turning out for!
Photograph by CD, from the Minoresses’ chapel, Derbyshire.