Week Six The Joy of the Cross.

Sunday 13th April
Today we enter a sacred week in the church’s life. – Holy Week. It is, of course, a sober and sombre week but the wisdom of the cross also invites us to see another side, a different different dimension and that is the glory and the joy of the cross. We don’t tend to think of the cross in these terms – glory and joy – but the Spirit leads us to see beyond meaning and mystery of Christ crucified. For the joy set before him Jesus of Nazareth, God made man, embraced the cross through which he would redeem each and every human being. Everyone is included in this love of God poured out upon the cross and this is the message of the cross that the Spirit leads us to boast and glory in
Lord, help me to read the account of your Passion with an open heart and a curious mind, eager to bee taught by the Spirit, having my heart burn within with renewed love for your sacred scriptures.

Monday of Holy Week 14th April 2014

How do we know what love is? There are many views and ideas on this but from a Christian perspective – how do we know what love is? St John that great apostle of love said: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. There we have it in just one sentence the very essence, what scholars call the Kerygma, the core message, if you like, of the gospel. If we gaze upon Christ crucified, in prayer, in church or if we have a crucifix and can find some time for quiet contemplation, we will enter more deeply into the mystery of God’s love which is Christ crucified.
Lord just as Mary of Bethany poured out the expensive nard upon your feet as a sign of her love and to prepare you for burial, I too pour out my time to seek, you in prayer and reflection.

 

 

Tuesday of Holy Week 15th April 2014.

Judas betrayed and Peter denied. Peter turned back while Judas turned away. No sin or human weakness or situation is beyond or outside of God’s love and redemption. In fact, one of the great blessings of life doesn’t actually seem like a grace or a blessing at the time: the realization of how our sin offends God and in this understanding turning to the Lord for mercy and forgiveness. This is what St Peter experienced as he wept bitterly for his denial. But strengthened by this grace he turned back to strengthen his brothers. Judas’ sin was his refusal to turn back in humble repentance, seeking forgiveness and healing.
Lord, we were baptised in the water of baptism baptize me again in tears of true repentance, contrition and sorrow leading me to the joy and grace of salvation.

Wednesday of Holy Week 16th April
Judas’ act of treachery will be known for all history. He is identified by this single act of betrayal. But the truth is, many of the disciples let the Lord down, in different ways. Peter’s denial, Thomas’ doubt, James and John’s violent zealotry, their slowness and dullness to grasp what the Lord was saying and so on. WE can be blind to our own sins and faults but clear-sighted regarding others. God’s grace and mercy helps us to understand our own hearts – its motives, desires and darkness, but also compels us to throw ourselves on the kindness, goodness and mercy of the living God.

Lord, I have let myself be deceived by rejecting your love. I turn back to you for your grace and healing.

Thursday of Holy Week 17th April
Feet washing was the task of a servant. It was a dirty and difficult task and not one we can safely imagine was popular. It was however, much appreciated by those who received it and clearly a sign not only of humility but of true service. We are called to lives of humble service. As Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta said we cannot do great things in life; we can only do small things with great love.’We are called to wash each other’s feet? What does this mean? It means that we care to get involved and play our part, unafraid to get our hands dirty, eager to be the ones who serve and give of our time and energy generously.

Lord, create in me a spirit of humble love and service. Teach me to be keen to get involved, quick to roll my sleeves up and eager to get my hands dirty in love of service of my brothers and sisters.

 

 

 

Good Friday 18th April
Today is a good day. On the cross Jesus left us his mother to be our mother. The foot of the cross was the supreme hour of the new creation and after ‘all was finished’ Christ led us to Mary. Mary is the perfect icon of motherhood and accompanies each of us, as she accompanies her son, on our journey back to the Father’s house. She is the woman the book of Revelation points to “…the mother whose offspring, keep the commandments o God and bear testimony to Jesus”

In a way, every Christian is also believed to be a bride of God’s word, a mother of Christ, his daughter and sister, at once virginal and fruitful..Christ dwells until the end of the ages in the tabernacle of the Church’s faith

Holy Saturday 19th April
St Paul asked the Christians of Rome a question. He asks of us the same. ’don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death’He reminds us of the primary grace of our baptism that we were buried with Christ into death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead, we too, may live a new life, through the glory of God the Father. The mystery of this holy events is that our old nature died with Christ and just as he was raised from the dead so we too have received the new resurrection life, the life of the Spirit.

Lord, I count myself dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. By this outpouring of grace that I have received during Lent. I commit myself to living not by my own strength but by the power of your Spirit.

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