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Friday, April 10, 2020

Good Friday

Today is suspended upon the Tree, He who suspended the land upon waters.
Today is suspended upon the Tree, He who suspended the land upon waters.
Today is suspended upon the Tree, He who suspended the land upon waters.

A crown of thorns crowns Him, who is the King of the angels.
He is wrapped in the purple robe of mockery, who wraps the heavens with clouds.
He receives smitings, who freed Adam in the Jordan.
He is tranfixed with nails, Who is the Son of the Virgin.

We venerate Thy passion, O Christ.
We venerate Thy passion, O Christ.
We venerate Thy passion, O Christ.
Show us also Thy glorious resurrection!

اليوم علق على خشبة الذي علق الأرض على المياه
إكليل من شوك وضع على هامة ملك الملائكة
برفيرا كاذباً تسربل
الذي وشح السماء بالغيوم
قبل لطمة الذي أعتق أدم في الأردن
ختن البيعة سمر بالمسامير
و إبن العذراء طعن بحربة
نسجد لألامك أيها المسيح

Andrea del Castagno. Crucifixion. c. 1450

I am so grateful that our Bishop provided a streaming Stations of the Cross for us this morning, and that we will be able to see the Good Friday service this afternoon. It has been such a hard Holy Week. We have been immersing ourselves in the Via Dolorosa with the Lord this week. Our veneration today is part of the three day service of the Triduum which began last night with the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood, and the stripping of the altar and will be complete at the vigil for the Paschal feast. We are so glad that we were able to participate, even a little, with technology. It is hard not to do this work in person, but we will wait as the Apostles and disciples did, scattered, to see His resurrection.

From our Old Testament reading this morning, there is a prophecy about Jesus:

For they reasoned unsoundly, saying to themselves, "Short and sorrowful is our life, and there is no remedy when a man comes to his end, and no one has been known to return from Hades.

"Let us lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions; he reproaches us for sins against the law, and accuses us of sins against our training. He professes to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord. He became to us a reproof of our thoughts; the very sight of him is a burden to us, because his manner of life is unlike that of others, and his ways are strange. We are considered by him as something base, and he avoids our ways as unclean; he calls the last end of the righteous happy, and boasts that God is his father. Let us see if his words are true, and let us test what will happen at the end of his life; for if the righteous man is God's son, he will help him, and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries. Let us test him with insult and torture, that we may find out how gentle he is, and make trial of his forbearance. Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for, according to what he says, he will be protected."

Thus they reasoned, but they were led astray, for their wickedness blinded them, and they did not know the secret purposes of God, nor hope for the wages of holiness, nor discern the prize for blameless souls; for God created man for incorruption, and made him in the image of his own eternity, but through the devil's envy death entered the world, and those who belong to his party experience it.

~ Wisdom 2:1, 12-24

Our morning gospel reading was from Saint John, with Jesus before Pilate. He tells Pilate:

For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.

The entire purpose of the Incarnation is the crucifixion and resurrection. That day, that moment, was the reason Jesus was born. The person of the Son was directed toward this end from before the foundations of the world.

From our prayers this morning:

Almighty God, we beseech thee graciously to behold this thy family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ was contented to be betrayed, and given up into the hands of wicked men, and to suffer death upon the cross;

He was content to be betrayed, to be given to wicked men, and to suffer for us. That is how great the love of God is for His creation; He came to die as one of us, to rescue us.

I wish to leave you with another prayer from this morning, and I bid you all a blessed Triduum.

O Merciful God, who hast made all men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made, nor desirest the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live; Have mercy upon all who know thee not as thou art revealed in the Gospel of thy Son. Take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart and contempt of thy Word; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to thy fold, that they may be made one flock under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

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