45. What will I do for Christ?
Today we focus on the death of Jesus on the Cross, an extremely painful and humiliating execution usually reserved for the lower classes. Why are men so cruel to those who frighten them?
The Scriptures say that only the women followers of Jesus had the strength to follow him to his death along with one man, ‘the disciple Jesus loved’.
His death was what Jesus was prepared to do for us.
Ignatius, in the Spiritual Exercises, asks us to look at Christ on the Cross and ask ourselves:
“What have I done for Christ?
What am I doing for Christ?
What will I do for Christ?”
A Thought to ponder
Jesus could have retreated back to Nazareth, back to the carpenter’s shop and avoided this painful death. But to do that he would have to have rejected his message, his ministry, his followers, his Father. He faced his destiny with the strength his Father gave him.
Are there times you stood up for what you believed in, times you were courageous – or times you should have been?
Scripture for the Day
As a way of praying today’s Scripture we suggest Imaginative Contemplation.
John 19: 16-19 & 23-30 NRSVACE
So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha.
There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them.
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said to one another, ‘Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.’
This was to fulfil what the scripture says,
‘They divided my clothes among themselves,
and for my clothing they cast lots.’
And that is what the soldiers did.
Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister,
Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her,
he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’
Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’
And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfil the scripture), am thirsty.’ A jar full of sour wine was standing there.
So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth.
When Jesus had received the wine, he said,
‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Music for Today
When I survey the wondrous Cross
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