Good Friday

Readings: John 18:1-19:42; Psalm 22; Hebrews 10:16-25; Isaiah 52:13-53:12

The dandelion has long ago surrendered its golden petals, and has reached its crowning stage of dying—the delicate seed-globe must break up now—it gives and gives till it has nothing left. The hour of this new dying is clearly defined to the dandelion globe:  it is marked by detachment.  There is no sense of wrenching:  it stands ready, holding up its little life, not knowing when or where or how the wind that bloweth where it listeth may carry it away.” 

Lilias Trotter, in Parables of the Cross. Her drawing of the dandelion includes a quote on suffering by Ugo Basso, a 19th Century monk of the St. Barnabas Order.

So they took Jesus,  and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha.  There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them… Jesus said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit…So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.  Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 

John 19

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (John 12:24) Dying with Christ does not mean being extinguished. But it does mean pouring out our innermost being before him, bringing our sins to the cross, and becoming one with him who died for us. When a grain of wheat is laid in the earth, it dies. It no longer remains a grain, but through death it brings forth fruit. This is the way of true Christianity. It is the way Jesus went when he died on the cross for each of us. If we want our lives to be fruits of Christ’s death on the cross, we cannot remain individual grains. We must be ready to die too. J. Heinrich Arnold, Discipleship.

PRACTICE. Detachment. Take a walk, drive, or hike in the Spring wildflowers, or nature available to you. Reflect on the life, death, and fruit bearing cycle of flowers, plants or trees. What can we learn about letting go of attachments, denying our self, and centering our identity and meaning in Christ alone. As Jesus said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 Where in your life do you need to practice detachment and God’s grace to say, “Not my will but yours be done?” Take a look at things you might have an unhealthy attachment to such as money, time, possessions, judgments, success. In response to prayer and reflection, be willing to give away something, let go of control, or share something that has taken on the power of importance and ownership in your personal or work life.

REFLECT. Just hours before his death on a cross, Jesus gave us the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion. When we take the bread and the cup, we remember the sacrifice of the innocent Lamb of God who takes away our sin and opens the door to the holy presence of God our Father.

So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body. So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word.  Hebrews 10 (MSG)

PRAYER. Saint Anselm, Prayer to Christ

My Lord and my Creator,
you bear with me and nourish me—
be my helper.
I sigh for you, I covet you:
I am like an orphan deprived of the presence
of a very kind father,
who, weeping and wailing,
does not cease to cling to the dear face
with his whole heart.
So, as much as I can,
though not as much as I ought,
I am mindful of your passion,
your buffeting, your scourging, your cross,
your wounds,
how you were slain for me,
how prepared for burial and buried;
and also I remember your glorious Resurrection,
and wonderful Ascension.
All this I hold with unwavering faith,
and weep over the hardship of exile (life on this earth),
hoping in the sole consolation of your coming,
ardently longing for the glorious contemplation
of your face. Amen.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Jean Heger says:

    Thank you for your beautiful reflection dear cousin! Easter Blessings!


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