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Today in Passion Week
Meditations, Reflections, Prayers

Passion Tuesday

Tuesday of Holy Pascha Week
On Tuesday of Holy Pascha Week, our Lord Jesus Christ spent the day with the disciples in the temple, teaching them by parables, telling them about the Second Coming.

In His Steps - A Lenten Series

Today: The Judas in All of Us

Tuesday in Holy Week
Today, again, our Savior sets out in the morning for Jerusalem. His intention is to repair to the temple, and continue His yesterday's teachings. It is evident that His mission on earth is fast drawing to its close.

Bible Reading:

Tuesday of the Passion Week.

Opening Prayer:

Almighty ever-living God,
grant us so to celebrate
the mysteries of the Lordís Passion
that we may merit to receive your pardon.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

The Readings (alternate):

Isaiah 49:1-6; Psalm 71:1-6, 15, 17; John 13:21-33, 36-38

Daily Meditation:

Let me receive your forgiveness and mercy.
The second Servant song shapes our reflection today
as we watch that amazing dinner scene on Tuesday of this passion week.

We experience the pain of his knowing
that he will be betrayed and denied.
Yet, the hour he is about to face is the hour of his Glory.
And he promises that where he is going, we will surely follow.

Our desire is to celebrate the gift being offered us.

It is too little, he says,
for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel.
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach
to the ends of the earth.
Isaiah 49

Tuesday of Holy Week Reflections
by Laurence Freeman OSB

'Now has the Son of Man been glorified.' This is his response to the moment when his fate is sealed and one of his close disciples, 'filled with Satan', leaves the common table to betray him.

The act of personal treachery hangs strangely loose in the story without explanation. No one is convinced he did it just for money. Inexplicably it seems necessary because it brings the main player to his supreme moment.

We speak of glory in battle, glorious weather and the glory of God. But what is this kind of glory that happens at a moment of defeat and disappointment. When someone in whom we have placed our trust or hope lets us down or when a plan we have been working on collapses it seems an odd time to speak of glory.

When you open a fresh scallop it firmly resists you. It clams its shell tight against the probing knife you are trying to slip between the two hinged halves of its protecting world. The art of this cruel act, without which there would be no scallop farmers, is to find the muscle that holds it closed and slice through it. Then the shell springs open, the luscious looking food is there and the food chain continues.

We prefer not to see this done or to hear of it but it is part of the world we inhabit. The ending of a life is the feeding of another in the chain of being. One should acknowledge the individual sacrifice and feel the loss of life as some native Americans are said to thank a tree before they cut it down.

If the end of a life is accepted in this humble way it is as if something opens. The dark side of it is the shadow cast by the intense light that has been released.

Tuesday Reflections from All Hallows in Leeds, England

Reading: 1 Corinthians 1.18-31

Reflection

Perhaps like people who cower away from the light, lest their own sins are exposed, we cannot bear to be in the presence of total Love, so we destroy it. The jealous, small-minded childishness of wanting to destroy what we cannot be and cannot have. Or is it the weakness of Jesus we despise, the weakness that reminds us of our own, which we try constantly to conceal and deny? His total humanity reveals our inability to be human. God lets himself be pushed out of the world onto the cross. He is weak and powerless in the world, and that is precisely the way, the only way, in which he is with us and helps us.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

This is the foolishness of the cross to which Paul refers: this absurdity that the story of a supposedly broken, defeated and executed prophet, healer and lover of humanity becomes the story of God's saving action in the world and potentially of God's saving action in us all.

This is standing with Christ, accepting the foolishness of the cross as the way of salvation - that in this vulnerable Messiah is a truth that needs to be lived and made known.

It is in accepting our brokenness and our vulnerability, acknowledging our confusion and our sense of loss - in that lies the seeds of resurrection hope. We are not perfect, and neither will we be perfect, but the way of love is not about perfection but about forgiveness and healing. It is about being weak enough to lament the realities of the pain of our world, the realities of our own sorrow and confusion, and then again and again turning back to the light and welcoming through love what it reveals. It is in accepting our brokenness that we know we are loved, and we learn again what we were made to be and what we can seek to become.

Ray Gaston

Prayer

O Jesus, stretch forth your wounded hands over your people to heal and to restore, and to draw us to yourself and to one another in love. Amen.

Intercessions:

Let us pray to Christ our Savior, who redeemed us by his death and resurrection:
Lord, have mercy on us.

You went up to Jerusalem to suffer and so enter into your glory,
- bring your Church to the Passover feast of heaven.

You were lifted high on the cross and pierced by the soldierís lance,
- heal our wounds.

You made the cross the tree of life,
- give its fruit to those reborn in baptism.

On the cross you forgave the repentant thief,
- forgive us our sins.

Closing Prayer:

God of such unwavering love,
how do I "celebrate"
the passion and death of Jesus?
I often want to look the other way
and not watch,
not stay with Jesus in his suffering.
Give me the strength
to see his love with honesty and compassion
and to feel deeply
your own forgiveness and mercy for me.

Help me to understand
how to "celebrate" this week.
I want be able to bring
my weaknesses and imperfections with me
as I journey with Jesus this week,
so aware of his love.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

Sources:
Creighton University Online Ministries - Praying Lent
The World Community for Christian Meditation (www.wccm.org)
All Hallows in Leeds, England
Lectionary of the Syriac Orthodox Church

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