Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior
gave his body to be whipped and his face to be spit upon:
Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time,
confident of the glory that shall be revealed;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The readings that we will use at the Holy Eucharist this morning are different from the daily office readings that were included in the St. Mary's Holy Week booklet. They definitely include some greatest hits:
From Isaiah 50. 4--9a
The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens--wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.
Hebrews 12. 1--3
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.
And just like that, dear brothers and sisters, you've both read Scripture and prayed today!
I think the most challenging part of Holy Week is having the world and our many commitments continue to swirl around us, and yet go to that place of connecting with Jesus and the way of the cross. There is no week in the year when the world place and the God place feel more discordant. And yet, what we are called to do is to see the cross of Christ within our most ordinary moments--that place where the quotidian Gospel is lived.
Coming tomorrow: Maundy Thursday Eucharist at 7 with 15 hour Watch with Christ Prayer Vigil following (at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Cypress, Texas). A few of the Vigil time slots are still empty. Will you give an hour of your time (plus travel!) to pray?