Friday, April 22, 2011

Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross

At Franciscan we always prayed these scriptures with the Friars from noon until 3pm. I will be praying them with my family, along with composer Franz Josef Hayden's Seven Last Words in the background.

Here is a brief reflection you can do at home. I like these because they are fully customizable to your time and your state in life.  For example, you can insert some wrote prayers or some brief examen in between. Good Friday, everybody.

The Seven Last Words of Christ

1. "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."  Luke 23:34

When the crucifixion procession reached Golgotha, Jesus was crucified along with two criminals.  The Roman soldiers divided up his clothing by casting lots.  "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Son of God, the Chosen One".

2. "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."  Luke 23:43

One of the criminals who was crucified with Jesus said: "Aren't you the Christ?  Save yourself and us!"  Another rebuked the first one: "Don't you fear God since you are under the same sentence?  We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.  But this man has done nothing wrong. Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom."

3. "Woman, behold, your son!"."Behold, your Mother!"  John 19:26-27

When Jesus saw  his Mother and one of his disciples standing near, he said to his Mother: "Woman, behold, your son!".  Then he said to the disciple: "Behold, your Mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

4. "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"   Mark 15:34

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"  When some of the people standing around the cross heard this they said: "He's calling Elijah."  Some believe that at that moment Jesus took on himself the sins of the world and was for the first time truly separated from the Father.

5. After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said to fulfill the scripture, "I thirst."  John 19:28

The verse says, that he said "that the scripture might be fulfilled."  In verse 15 we read: "My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws."

6. "It is finished."  John 19:30

The prophecies had been fulfilled.  Everything was in order.  The plan was complete.

7. "Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said: "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!" And having said this he breathed his last.  Luke 23:46

Thursday, April 21, 2011

#11 Our kingdoms

Dang it's getting crazy out there. 

Just take a look at the world around us. Tsunamis, earthquakes, fires, radiation, poverty, governments, tyrants, racism, abortion.  Things can look pretty grim. 

With all of this around us, I think it's hard sometimes for me to remember that God is not sitting on His throne, with forehead sweat, worrying about whether or not things are gonna work out.  The truth is, He's fine. He's more than fine, He is absolutely confident and certain that one day His Son, Jesus Christ, will literally destroy everything on earth that ever stood against Him, including death. And you and I will enter into a new heavens and new earth.  Period.  That's the story that God is accomplishing. 

He started this thing. He's running this thing. He's gonna finish this thing. It's my job to trust and merge into what He's doing. 

Happy Triduum everyone.