Great Three Days”
(“Triduum” in Latin):
Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday
On this night we gather to remember. We open our hearts and minds to relive the pain and victory which have become for us the doorway to the eternal. We recognize the Shadows which encroach on every life, and meditate on that one moment in history when the Shadows seemed to extinguish the light entirely. We come in awe and in worship, for the darkness has never, and will never, overcome the Light revealed in the human life and death of Jesus Christ.
John 13:1-17, 31b-35.
John’s account of the events in the upper room on washing the disciple’s feet and a new commandment– to love one another as Jesus loves them. We call this day Maundy Thursday in English in remembrance of this commandment. Maundy is from the Latin mandare, “to command.”
In our eyes, O God, we do not stand. Our failings are ever before us, and we feel crushed under their weight. Yet in your eyes, Holy One, we do not fall, for we are your beloved children and shine with the glory of your image. Help us accept the truth of both visions, even as we acknowledge that the deeper insight belongs to you. Amen.
One of the men who died next to Jesus mocked him, “Save yourself and us.” But that’s exactly what Jesus was doing. He was breaking the power of evil by stopping it in its tracks, by refusing to allow it to take hold of him, and by revealing its true, destructive nature.
The four sayings from the crucifix that are part of today’s account are “Woman, here is your son,” “Here is your mother,” “I am thirsty,” and “It is finished.” Let these “four words” stand on their own within the larger narrative of the Passion in John’s Gospel, and see where they lead you and your worshiping community.
Elusive One, O that our eyes were a fountain of tears to weep for ourselves and our world. Where do you go when all hope fades? Where do you hide when we cry out with the psalmist” “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
In the midst of our pain and despair, we strain to see you arriving in the nick of time. Yet, in our disbelief and dismay, we face the emptiness of your absence and the ache of our despair. Your ways are beyond us, Holy One, shrouding us in mystery.
Be with us in our hour of greatest need, most of all, do not abandon us when we deny you.
God of Light, You call us into a new life. But for us to enter that life, we must be willing to let go of our old life. With Christ we must die, trusting in the resurrection to come…
Joseph of Arimathea requests the body of Jesus be placed in a new tomb he owns. Some religious leaders ask Pilate to place a contingent of guards around the tomb to ensure the followers of Jesus cannot steal the body and claim Jesus rose from the dead
Please make this part of your spiritual discipline. Be in an attitude of prayer as we wait the wonder of Easter!