2 Corinthians 4:7-11
But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh.
1 Corinthians 2:1-2
When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
Please take time to reflect on the image below.
Meditations from the preachers.
From Adeela Msomi
Even with help, Jesus stumbles and falls to the ground. In deep exhaustion he stares at the earth beneath him. “Remember, you are dust and to dust you will return.” He has seen death before. Now he can feel the profound weakness of disability and disease and aging itself, there on his knees, under the weight of his cross.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
I contemplate Jesus brought very low. As I behold him there on the ground, with all the agony taking its toll on him, I let my heart go out to him. I store up this image in my heart, knowing that I will never feel alone in my suffering or in any diminishment, with this image of Jesus on the ground before me.
This is for me, so I express the feelings in my heart.
From Rev Dr Canon Delysia Timm
The fall of the Environment
1st Reader: The hill slope is long and the burden is heavy. Jesus’ strength diminishes as He trudges up the top. The loss of blood, the lack of water, the midday heat, all concur to make the ascent to Calvary more difficult, and more taxing on Jesus. Once more Jesus falls to the ground.
He lies there as if He were never to get up again, until the brutal force of the guards, their beating and their tugging at Jesus’ wrist, pull Him to His feet. He takes a few staggering steps, dragging Himself from one side to the other of the track, unable to control His balance and step.
Were you there when He fell again in pain? (x2)
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when He fell again in pain?
2nd Reader: Jesus falls to the ground: that ground which is sacred because it was created by His Father, and yet that ground, which, however, needs redemption from all the abuse, from all the misuse, from all extortion and sucking it has been subjected to. That ground which is the first and the most conspicuous victim of human greed and of our technological civilization.
People choke and an American Indian cries out.
Trucks and automobiles discharge toxic exhaust.
Factories belch black smoke loaded with toxic ash.
Acid rain falls, forests and farm lands die.
Strip mining permanently scars the earth.
Woods are chopped down, rain forests denuded.
Unchecked fires burn the trees that hold back erosion and flash floods wash away the land.
When will all this desecration of God’s creation come to an end?
People gasp for fresh air, and a native African cries out.
Toxic waste is dumped into streams and lakes where fish gasp and birds starve.
Oil spills cover the ocean surface poisoning the food and coating the bodies of sea animals and birds.
Boat-loads of garage are dumped into the sea. Algae drapes over dead lakes and ocean beds.
Infected hypodermic needles and surgical instruments was ashore on the beaches, making them a health – hazard.
People die and the Indians, the Natives, the followers of world religions for whom the earth is sacred, and all its creatures are gifts of God not to be wasted or squandered, cry out:
How long will the earth and its creatures lie dying at the hands of humans?
Were you there when the earth was going to die? (x2)
Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when the earth was going to die?
Someone is dying, Lord, because someone else has grabbed the fruits of mother earth far in excess of human need. Unconcerned in the face of gross destruction is tantamount to collaboration. Help us, O Lord, to live our lives responsibly for the sake of those who will come after us and inherit the land. Give us the courage to fight for the rights of the earth and of its creatures. Let not the genocide of the earth principally at the hands of Christians, continue.
Lord Jesus Christ crucified, have mercy on our lack of respect and veneration for our mother earth!
Our Father….. Hail Mary…. Glory be…
Jesus, disfigured and bloodied by our sins, fell under the weight of the cross a second time. But he did not stay down under the cross. He rose with determination to finish his journey, to fulfil the New Covenant he would establish in his death and resurrection. As we continue to draw closer to Jesus on the cross this Lent, we remember that God never tires of forgiving and pouring his endless mercy upon his children. As we rise up, taking up our own crosses once again to follow him, we can leave our burdens with Jesus. Then we too can go out into the world, freer to share God’s love and mercy with the world.
Come Holy Spirit, stir in me so that I may see how my sins bind and imprison me time and again. Free me from the bondage of these sins with your everlasting love, that I may better love others by feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and doing your good works while seeing Christ in every person. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, giver of hope,
be with us in our trials, our doubts,
and our questions.
Be the strength we need to rise again.
Continue to show us the way forward.
We pray this through Christ, our Lord.