Friday, March 25, 2005

In the same night that He was betrayed

Jesus took the bread, and when he had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to His disciples, saying "Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me."

Likewise after supper he took the cup; and when he had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink ye all of this; for this is my blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins; do this as oft as ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me."

Tonight was the Maundy Thursday service, recalling the night of the Last Supper Jesus shared with His disciples. This was the night when He was betrayed by Judas, setting up the events leading to His crucifixion on Friday.

This was the night He prayed at Gethsemane, asking the disciples to stay awake with Him to pray. They could not. Several times He awoke them, asking "could you not keep awake one hour?" After the third time, He said "Enough! The hour has come."

Tonight's prayer of intercession was a prayer for all humanity:

Lord, have mercy

  • Source of life, you created us in your image and have redeemed us: look with compassion upon the entire human family. Lord, have mercy.
  • Lord, your love comes to liberate our lives: may our hearts sing your praises fore ever. Lord, have mercy.
  • God, your love brings healing to our hatred and our sadness: bring peace to your church, to families and bring inner peace to each of us. Lord, have mercy.
  • Eternal God, your Spirit of life dwells within every human being: may the Spirit enable us to tear down walls of mistrust and of fear. Lord, have mercy.
  • Friend of the poor: help us to bring an end to deprivation, poverty and oppression in our societies. Lord, have mercy.
  • For all victims of injustice and violence, for those who give aid to them: make your face shine upon them. Lord, have mercy.
  • Eternal God you walk alongside the people of every land: show the leaders how to follow the road of justice and peace. Lord, have mercy.
  • Source of peace, you bring down the walls of separation between people: reconcile us in your love. Lord, have mercy.

God of every human being, in a world where we are bewildered by the incomprehensible suffering of the innocent, how can we be witness to the Gospel of hope, the Gospel of grace for all? Strange, God, are the ways you conquer: with weakness rather than power, with humility rather than majesty. Enable us to manifest a reflection of the compassion of Christ by the lives that we live. Strengthen us, Eternal God, and we will wait in silence and peace until the light of the Resurrection rises hope upon us. Amen.

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