Here are the lessons for today.
March 29, 2013
Psalm 22 (1)
Hebrews 10:16-25 or Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, look with loving mercy on your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, to be given over to the hands of sinners, and to suffer death on the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
Merciful God, your Son was lifted up on the cross to draw all people to himself. Grant that we who have been born out of his wounded side may at all times find mercy in him, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Look to Jesus, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregard- | ing its shame,
and has taken his seat at the right hand of the | throne of God. (Heb. 12:2)
This is a day for contemplation of the Lord’s Passion, and the Cross. The image of the cross I like to use is called the San Damiano Cross; it’s Franciscan, the one that St. Francis was praying in
front of when he received his call to reform the church. Pre-medieval crosses were much more focused on the strong, wounded Christ who opened his arms on the cross to include all creation.
Usually such crosses were painted in an icon form, rather than the semi-sculpted forms of crucifixes so common today. The tortured Jesus became increasingly the focus during the late middle ages. But before that, crosses such as the San Damiano Cross, emphasized a Jesus whose cross–life, death, and resurrection–gathers us. If you look at the San Damiano cross, gathered around Jesus are the Apostles, saints, Mary, mother of God, St. John the Baptist, all proclaiming as Christ does, God’s unimaginable, radical, wild, boundless mercy, even as we abandon him.
The cross becomes a call to sacrificial love, communion in Christ for the sake of the world, and the sign of the promise of the resurrection.