“THIS IS MY BODY, ‘T WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.”
What could you possibly mean, Lord? Was this the body that had walked with them, and slept with them, had eaten and drunk as one? Was it the body Judas had loved and had chosen to betray? Was this the body Peter would deny having known? Was it the body his mother had carried, and the women had cared for?
The body to be scourged and crowned with thorns,weighed down by the weight of a cross that would finally be his throne. Was this the body that was given up for them?
“THIS IS THE CUP OF THE NEW COVENANT IN MY BLOOD.”
What could you possibly mean Lord? Was this the cup of wine changed into blood? Was this the blood that had coursed joyously through his veins As they strode through the hills of Galilee building a kingdom to come?
Was this the blood that sweated from his brow and oozed out from his wounded head and back? Was this the blood that was finally to be spilt to the last drop, for our sins?
Is the body and the blood given up and spilled daily, in service, on the altars of our homes and churches, in remembrance, the new covenant, God’s gift too, the hope for humankind?
“Crucify him, crucify him.”
How did those words sound to your ears? Were these not the voices that shouted “Hosanna, praise God,” And now were shouting, “damn God, we have no place for you?”
“Weep not for me, weep for yourselves and for your children.”
What mother does not many times in her lifetime, Like Mary, weep for her children, run away, lost, betrayed by life? What father does not many times in his lifetime like God, weep for the choices he didn’t make, or couldn’t make?
“Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”
“They are not always evil, but always human. They struggle under the burdens of life, only sometimes seeking your help. They sin, but they repent.
One day they will be with me in paradise.Father, for that, today, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
Have you kept a vigil? Have you waited, patiently, trustingly, lovingly, beyond death for new life?
Have you listened to my word? How I created you and recreated you, saved you from slavery and sin? How I made and renewed my covenant with you. A covenant on stone, a covenant written on your hearts, A covenant made with the blood of my Son? Have you kept a vigil with me?
Have you kept a vigil? Have you waited patiently, trustingly, lovingly, beyond death for new life?
Have you listened to my word? How I became just one of you, a child, a man, a worker, teacher showing you a way to God, a way of justice, truth and love, a way that is lived by action and word, a way to life everlasting? Have you kept a vigil with me?
Have you kept a vigil? Have you waited patiently, trustingly, lovingly, hoping for life not death?
Have you sat at the bedside of a dying child, a spouse, a friend or foe and watched their life-blood ebb away, hoping beyond hope for human life, Hoping beyond hope for a new eternal life? Have you kept a vigil with God?
Was there ever a brighter day than the early morning at the tomb when the women seeking to anoint his body were dazzled and terrified and then enlightened as they remembered his words?
What were the brightest days in your life? Were you ever abandoned, lost, seeking only to do what is barely possible when God’s presence filled you and dazzled, maybe terrified, you lived again, enlightened as you remembered his words,
“I have conquered death and sin. Only believe.”
Drawings used for the STATIONS OF THE CROSS FOR FAMILIES were made by one of the sisters from Carmel in Cape Town many years ago and are used with permission.