Moved to Greater Love
Moved to Greater Love

Good Friday, April 18 (Friday of the Passion of the Lord)

Today’s Grace

I pray for the grace to feel sorrow and compassion, so that I may be united with the Lord Jesus in his Passion.

Scripture/Reading

Reading via the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website:

Is 52:13-53:12
See, my servant shall prosper,
he shall be raised high and greatly exalted.
Even as many were amazed at him—
so marred was his look beyond human semblance
and his appearance beyond that of the sons of man—
so shall he startle many nations,
because of him kings shall stand speechless;
for those who have not been told shall see,
those who have not heard shall ponder it.

Who would believe what we have heard?
To whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
He grew up like a sapling before him,
like a shoot from the parched earth;
there was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him,
nor appearance that would attract us to him.
He was spurned and avoided by people,
a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity,
one of those from whom people hide their faces,
spurned, and we held him in no esteem.

Yet it was our infirmities that he bore,
our sufferings that he endured,
while we thought of him as stricken,
as one smitten by God and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our offenses,
crushed for our sins;
upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole,
by his stripes we were healed.
We had all gone astray like sheep,
each following his own way;
but the LORD laid upon him
the guilt of us all.

Though he was harshly treated, he submitted
and opened not his mouth;
like a lamb led to the slaughter
or a sheep before the shearers,
he was silent and opened not his mouth.
Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away,
and who would have thought any more of his destiny?
When he was cut off from the land of the living,
and smitten for the sin of his people,
a grave was assigned him among the wicked
and a burial place with evildoers,
though he had done no wrong
nor spoken any falsehood.
But the LORD was pleased
to crush him in infirmity.

If he gives his life as an offering for sin,
he shall see his descendants in a long life,
and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through him.

Because of his affliction
he shall see the light in fullness of days;
through his suffering, my servant shall justify many,
and their guilt he shall bear.
Therefore I will give him his portion among the great,
and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty,
because he surrendered himself to death
and was counted among the wicked;
and he shall take away the sins of many,
and win pardon for their offenses.

Jn 18:1-19:42
The Passion of Our Lord according to John

Reflection Questions

  1. We continue to reflect on the prophetic Suffering Servant from Isaiah who allowed himself to be handed over, which leads us to the Passion of Jesus and the scandal of the cross. Jesus enters into the depth of humanity and subjected himself to our sinfulness to complete his salvific mission.
  2. Read the Passion meditatively and allow the unfolding events of Jesus’ Passion to take hold of me. Be at the foot of the cross with Mary and the faithful women disciples as they silently witnessed Jesus dying. All is finished as Jesus bowed his head and emptied himself on the cross for us.

Reflection

From “The Divine Milieu” by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ:

The gift which you call on me to make to these brothers and sisters — the only gift which my heart can make — is not the overwhelming tenderness of those specially privileged affections which you have placed in our lives as the most potent created factor of our interior growth, but something less sweet, but just as real, and more strong. Between myself and others, and with the help of your Eucharist, you want the fundamental attraction (which is already dimly felt in all love, if it is strong) to be made manifest — what mystically transforms the myriad of rational creatures into a kind of single monad in you, Jesus Christ. You want me to be drawn towards “others,” not by simple personal sympathy, but by what is much higher: the united affinities of a world for itself, and of that world for God.

You do not ask for the psychologically impossible — since what I am asked to cherish in the vast and unknown crowd is never anything save one and the same personal being in which is yours.

Nor do you call for any hypocritical protestations of love for neighbor, because — since my heart cannot reach your person except at the depths of all that is most individually and concretely personal in every “other” — it is to “others” themselves, and not to some vague entity around them, that my charity is addressed.

No, you do not ask anything false or unattainable of me. You merely, through your revelation and your grace, force what is most human in me to become conscious of itself at last. Humanity was sleeping — it is still sleeping — imprisoned in the narrow joys of its little closed loves. A tremendous spiritual power is slumbering in the depths of our multitude, which will manifest itself only when we have learnt to break down the barriers of our egoisms and, by a fundamental recasting of our outlook, raise ourselves up to the habitual and practical vision of universal realities.

Jesus, Savior of human activity to which you have given meaning, Savior of human suffering to which you have given living value, be also the Savior of human unity; compel us to discard our pettiness, and to venture forth, resting upon you, into the uncharted oceans of charity.

Christ Comes through the Ruins
by Thomas Merton

Slowly, slowly
Comes Christ through
the ruins
Seeking the lost disciple
A timid one
Too literate
To believe words
So she hides.

Music: “Jesus, Remember Me” (Taizé)

Other Resources

View the daily readings at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website.

Music: "Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord)" performed by Johnny Cash and the Carter Family





Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America - 9/15/14

America - 9/1/14

America - 8/18/14





Ignatian Spirituality Center
The Ignatian Spirituality Center of Kansas City offers programs in Ignatian prayer and retreats and trains lay people as spiritual directors and retreat guides.