Holy Week at Home 2020 (Wednesday)

04.08.20 | by Suzanne Bernet

    May Our Faith Be Bigger Than Our Fear
    Guardian Angels Holy Week At Home

    Wednesday, April 8, 2020
    Isaiah 50:4-9 / Psalm 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34 / Matthew 26:14-25

    “. . . in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.”
    Matthew 26:25

    As I read the Scripture readings for today, my heart was most captured by the Gospel for the day, as Matthew relates the story of preparations for the Passover. The disciples asked Jesus where he wanted to prepare the meal and Jesus tells them to go into the city and find a certain person and tell them, “. . . in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples . . .” It was impossible for me to read that without thinking of our own community of faith. So it will be for us tomorrow as we come together to begin the holiest days of the liturgical year. We will gather not at Guardian Angels but in our houses. There will be some pain and some sadness because we cannot be together in our familiar worship space. Those of us who love music and use it as a form of prayer will likely shed some tears as we hear a familiar tune on the Guardian Angels livestream. If that happens, remember today’s Gospel and its reminder that Jesus himself chose someone’s home to share a meal and to prepare for the Way of the Cross. The church is not the building; the church is the people of God, whether gathered in a room or via Zoom.

    Putting Our Faith Into Action

    What can you do today to prepare your home to celebrate the Passover? Bring out a cherished table covering? Make a special bread? Though we cannot welcome others into our home right now with a dinner invitation, who in your life might you welcome in another way? A call? A virtual dinner party?  

    What are you doing today to prepare for the Way of the Cross? What particular cross are you being asked to carry along the way this week? Can you find the courage to ask another to share the burden?

    Who in your family, your neighborhood or the wider world needs your help to carry a cross this week? How might you act to relieve another’s suffering?

    We Shall Walk Through the Valley (music)

    We Shall Walk Through the Valley” is an African-American spiritual has been an important part of GA’s holy week tradition for many years. This is a recording of our choir singing it at the end of the 2015 Tenebrae liturgy, as the lit Easter candle is carried back into the church as a sign of hope in the darkness.

    We shall walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    We shall walk through the valley in peace,
    And if Jesus himself shall be our leader,
    We shall walk through the valley in peace.

    Centering Practice for Today
    Breathe deeply, in and out, three times:

    • one, to let go of your fears;
    • two, to open yourself to the loving presence of God;
    • three, to trust Jesus and allow yourself to be led along the pathway of God.

    Closing Prayer
    Creator God, bless our efforts to reach out to those who are isolated. Help us to know the words to say that will lighten their spirits in this time of uncertainty and fear. In those moments when we feel overwhelmed with this upside-down world, remind us that you walk before us and know what we need before we ask. Amen.

    Matthew 26:14-25

    One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot,
    went to the chief priests and said,
    “What are you willing to give me
    if I hand him over to you?”
    They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
    and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

    On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
    the disciples approached Jesus and said,
    “Where do you want us to prepare
    for you to eat the Passover?”
    He said,
    “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him,
    ‘The teacher says, "My appointed time draws near;
    in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.
    The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered,
    and prepared the Passover.

    When it was evening,
    he reclined at table with the Twelve.
    And while they were eating, he said,
    “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
    Deeply distressed at this,
    they began to say to him one after another,
    “Surely it is not I, Lord?”
    He said in reply,
    “He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me
    is the one who will betray me.
    The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,
    but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
    It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”
    Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
    “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?”
    He answered, “You have said so.”

    See Tuesday's Reflection Here

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