Week 6 Monday March 30 to Sunday April 5
Gather “My God, my God...”. Matthew 26:46
God of compassion, recognise my cry for the CLARITY that only You can bring. Enliven in me Your gift of true sacrifice, so that I may sing a song of justice and mercy. Jesus was abandoned on the cross by humanity but allow my spirit to respond to those in our world who live each day in the ‘crucifying suffering of Jesus’. Let me be filled with hope, for You will never ‘forsake me’. You are my God.
Listen Gospel – Matthew 26:14 – 27:66 (Amended)
14 Then went one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, to the chief priests, 15 And said to them: What will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? But they appointed him thirty pieces of silver.
49 Judas went over to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and he kissed him. 50 Jesus answered him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him.
31 And when the soldiers had mocked him, they stripped him of his cloak, dressed him in his own clothes, and led him off to crucify him. 32 As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon; this man they pressed into service to carry his cross. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha, 34 they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with bile. But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink.
45 From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.
46 And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 Some of the bystanders who heard it said, “This one is calling for Elijah.” 48 Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge; he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed, gave it to him to drink. 49 But the rest said, “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.”
50 But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice and gave up his spirit. 51 And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked, rocks were split, 52 tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53 And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54 The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said, “Truly, this was the Son of God!”
55 There were many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus and Pilate ordered it to be handed over. 59 Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it in clean linen 60 and laid it in his new tomb.
62 The next day, the one following the day of preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that this impostor while still alive said, ‘After three days I will be raised up.’ 66 So they went and secured the tomb by fixing a seal to the stone and setting the guard.
Reflect This final Sunday in Lent presents us with a very stark Gospel – the crucifying death of Jesus. We hear his terrifying cry to his beloved father: “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” In his crucifixion, Jesus plumbs to the depths of the terrible sense of God’s absence and abandonment which often accompanies radical human suffering. At this dark point in Jesus’ life it seems he is stretched between the “no” of God and the “no” of humanity. This suffering is reflected in the abandonment and persecution of millions of refugees and asylum seekers in our world today. Many are living the ‘crucifying suffering of Jesus’, abandoned by their homeland and rejected by the countries in which they seek asylum. As they wait patiently in holding camps, they cling to the hope that doors will open for them to enter a new world of life, freedom, prosperity and CLARITY. Respond Throughout our lives we all experience, in some form or other, rejection and perhaps even abandonment. 1. Can you recall such a time in your life? Can you remember who walked with
you at this time to give you hope? 2. Suggest ways that we as a human community can develop a more
compassionate response to the plight of refugees and asylum seekers. 3. How can we, as people of faith, help to change the consciousness of
people towards the “outsider” and those who experience rejection, isolation and abandonment? Concluding Prayer Glory to God source of all being, eternal Word, Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be. Amen