Through Lent with Pope Francis
Lord Jesus, help us to see in your Cross all the crosses of the world:Prayer of Pope Francis, Good Friday, 2019
the cross of people hungry for bread and for love;
the cross of people alone and abandoned even by their children and kin;
the cross of people thirsty for justice and for peace;
the cross of people who lack the comfort of faith;
the cross of the elderly who struggle under the weight of years and of loneliness;
the cross of migrants who find doors closed in fear and hearts armoured by political calculations;
the cross of little ones, wounded in their innocence and their purity;
the cross of humanity that wanders in the darkness of uncertainty and in the obscurity of temporary culture;
the cross of families split by betrayal, by the seductions of the evil one or by homicidal levity and selfishness;
the cross of consecrated people who tirelessly seek to bring your light into the world and feel rejected, derided and humiliated;
the cross of consecrated people who, along the way, have forgotten their first love;
the cross of your children who, while believing in you and seeking to live according to your word, find themselves marginalised and rejected even by their families and their peers;
the cross of our weaknesses, of our hypocrisy, of our betrayals, of our sins and of our many broken promises;
the cross of your Church that, faithful to your Gospel, struggles to spread your love even among the baptized themselves;
the cross of the Church, your Bride, that feels constantly assailed from within and without;
the cross of our common home that is gravely withering before our selfish eyes, blinded by greed and by power.
Lord Jesus, revive in us the hope of resurrection and of your definitive victory over all evil and all death.
Jesus Dies on the Cross
Beginning at midday, there was darkness over the whole land until three in the afternoon. At three o’clock, Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
On hearing this, some of the bystanders said, “Listen! He is calling Elijah.”
Someone ran off, soaked a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait! Let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.”
Then Jesus cried out in a loud voice and breathed his last.
And the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two, from top to bottom.
When the centurion who was standing facing him saw how Jesus had breathed his last, he said,
“Truly this man was the Son of God.”
A number of women were also present, looking on from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome.
These women used to follow Jesus when he was in Galilee and minister to his needs.
And there were many other women there who had come up with him to Jerusalem.
Thought for Today
The excruciatingly painful death of Jesus on the cross shows how far human jealously can go in inflicting suffering.
Let us be aware of the temptations that we have to bring our rivals down.
Love your enemy.
“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!”
Can I meet that challenge?
Agnus Dei – Samuel Barber Sung by Laurens Symfonisch