Lent 2020


Lenten Reflection: Good Friday 2019


STM Lenten Image“This is the ultimate hour / When life is justified.” —T.S. Eliot

I am not very good at sticking to my Lenten practices (I hope you are better at it than me). But even as I struggle, or perhaps because of that struggle, I do always find an opportunity, however small, to grow closer to God. The desert, the seeking and the pain in Christ’s experience remind me that I can and should call out more frequently to Him, who in His own life “offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death” (Heb 5: 7-9). As we enter finals and I stare down the barrel of three intimidating final papers, in this last push towards the end of the semester, I intend to offer many prayers with loud cries and tears. As we move toward the climactic finale of our waiting this Lenten season, I remember those who have gone before me, the many loved ones who have passed in the last year, and for them I offer my prayers with loud cries and tears.

What loud cries, wails, moans, and silent tears must have accompanied Christ’s Passion? In the St. John Passion reading today, we have a dramatic account of the last hours of Christ’s life as he “became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2: 8). The surrounding sounds are hectic: a cock crows, a crowd calls out, soldiers jeer, more loud shouts from the crowd. I wonder what sort of silence Jesus encountered in between being pulled from one place to the next. What might have occupied his mind in those silent moments? I encourage you today to meditate on what Jesus might have been feeling in those moments of clamor and untold moments of quiet. I think it must have been a great comfort to know that, finally, he would return to the arms of his Father: “Abba, into your hands I commend my Spirit” (Psalm 31). How did it feel to be embraced by our Father in that moment, especially after such a long struggle?

I hope this Lenten season has been fruitful for you, and I pray that you have a blessed Triduum, where you can encounter God and one another in a spirit of love and gratitude for the most precious gift we have been given as Christians.