Thursday, April 01, 2010

Day 38 of Lent :: Weep

“But Jesus was saying,
‘Father forgive them;
for they do not know what they are doing.’”
Luke 23:34

Softly, slowly speak or sing the words to the following old hymn.

And Can It Be That I Should Gain?
Charles Wesley, Public Domain
And can it be that I should gain
an interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God shouldst die for me?
He left His Father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace!
Emptied Himself of all but love,
and bled for Adam’s helpless race;
Tis mercy all, immense and free;
For O my God, it found out me.
Amazing love! how can it be
that Thou, my God shouldst die for me?

“What do you weep at,
if you do not weep at this?”*
Dante Alghieri

“To make of His story something that could neither startle,
nor shock, nor terrify, nor excite, nor inspire a living soul
is to crucify the Son of God afresh.”*
Dorthy Sayers

Reflection: Close your eyes and experience this moment at the cross. See the soldiers laugh and joke as they divide Jesus’ clothes. Smell the sweat in the air as the morning sun burns down. Hear the rumble of conversation among the high priests. Look at Jesus hanging there. See His eyes on you. Hear Him say “Father, forgive” for every act of sin, rebellion, apathy, or disobedience you have ever committed or will commit.

Prayer: Dearest Savior, I hear Your voice breaking through the heat of a summer morning and the busyness of my days.. And I am back there – standing at Your feet with heartless soldiers and hard-hearted priests. I too have sealed Your fate with my sins, and am in desperate need of compassion. So tenderly You offer forgiveness to them . . . to the world . . . to me. Your voice descends like a gentle rain on the desert of my heart until I am soft and pliable in Your nail-scarred hands.*

*Raniero Cantalamess, Life in Christ: A Spiritual commentary on the Letter to the Romans, 62.
*Dorthy L. Sayers, The Man Born to be King, 43.
*Prayer by Tricia McCary Rhodes in Contemplating the Cross, 108.

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