Psalm 116:1-10, 17; Exodus 12:1-4 (5-10), 11-14; 1st Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-17, 31b-35
his disciples feet
with the full extent
of his love
round his waist.
into a basin,
he knelt and
How can I understand
the full extent
of what you did
for me at that moment?
May I, too, kneel
and hold that space
in which You are
Photo by the Rev. Mark Bozzuti-Jones
Psalm 70; Isaiah 50:4-9a; Hebrews 12:1-3; John 13:21-32
When I was away at boarding school, our Religious Education one year involved a study of the Gospels, from Mark through Matthew and Luke to the Gospel of John. This passage was only one of many that made me wonder just how stupid the disciples could be. After all, when talking of His upcoming betrayal, Jesus says that “it is he to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” And then he gives it to Judas.
Didn’t the disciples get it? Why didn’t they jump Judas there and then and prevent tragedy?
All three of the synoptic gospels are more discreet about the betrayal. So why does John specifically single out Judas? And why didn’t the disciples get it?
As is, perhaps, typical of teenage boys, I raised this question with the gentle parish priest who was teaching the class that year, and he simply smiled and said “Do you know the Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde?” Puzzled I said that I did, but what did that have to do with this?
“Reread it” he said, “and think about cowards and brave men.” It took me a bit of time, but I eventually got it. Oscar Wilde helped me realize that: “… each man kills the thing he loves/By each let this be heard,/ Some do it with a bitter look,/Some with a flattering word,/The coward does it with a kiss,/The brave man with a sword!”
Judas is truly Everyman. Even though he betrayed with a kiss, it is Peter who betrays a few hours later, with a most unflattering word, and we all, in our own way betray those who are important to us. Not as dramatically as Judas, perhaps, but inevitably, and repeatedly.
It is the miracle of that Holy Week, as it is the ongoing miracle even now, that forgiveness is ever-present. The willingness of Jesus to go along with the betrayal argues strongly for forgiveness of Judas. Betrayal is, in many ways, the ultimate sin against the person, and yet even this is susceptible to the power of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Psalm 36:5-11; Isaiah 42:1-9; Hebrews 9:11-15; John 12:1-11
As I write this, I’m reflecting on the first Sunday in Advent. What was interesting about that Sunday was a little girl with a bag of books one of our parishioners had given to her. Many of the books were books from my own childhood, like Dr. Seuss and Madeline. The book she pulled out that caught my eye, though, was a picture book about Easter. We sat together in the Seminar room at Trinity and went through the book page by page. She was fascinated with my telling of the story of the passion of Christ through the pictures in the book.
--Ralph J. Lowry, Jr.
Psalm 31:9-16; Isaiah 50:4-9a; Philippians 2:5-11; Luke 22:14-23:56 or Luke 23:1-49
Palm Sunday procession, Moscow, with Tsar Alexei Michaelovich; painting by Vyacheslav Gregorievich Schwarz, 1865 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_Sunday
Palm Sunday, the day we celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem singing Hosanna waving palms. Today is the start of Holy Week, an occasion to reflect on the final week of Jesus’ life. Today the people were praising him. By the end of the week, the people were yelling to crucify him. Prepare your hearts for the agony of His Passion and the joy of His Resurrection.
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.
The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious,
I did not turn backward.
Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together.
Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.
It is the Lord GOD who helps me;
who will declare me guilty?
--Deborah E. Hope
Psalm 105:4-11; Genesis 17:1-8; John 8:51-59
“Seek the Lord and his strength; Seek his presence continually.”
Throughout my life, my faith and trust in God has alternated from
borderline agnosticism to feelings of deep spiritual connection, and all points in between.
In childhood I professed my faith in the way I was taught: this is your school, your church, and your life. I accepted it all but was detached from it with no emotional commitment. Later as I grew older I left religion behind and embraced a new philosophy where my wants and desires were paramount. My previously held beliefs seemed childlike and naïve.
Later when my lifestyle left me nearly broken and alone I was driven to my knees. Help was presented to me many times in many ways but I didn’t see it. The more I struggled to retain control, the worse things got. In defeat I found the humility to put myself back into God’s care.
In the gospel Jesus says “I Am,” not I was, or I will be if only you… His love is eternal but I must continue to seek him always in the present moment. In doing this, I find the strength I need to meet life’s challenges.
Psalm 89:1-29 or 89:14, 26-29; 2nd Samuel 7:4, 8-16; Romans 4:13-18; Luke 2:41-52
Divine kingdom, eternal radiant, exalted by angelic voices. Father’s Faithful love, blessings given to multiply beyond expanse of sea and sky.
A humble servant plucked from his fold to shepherd a chosen nation, Kingdom of Judah, once mighty a lion roared and fought. Known today, yet no more we say.
Beckoning: a celestial tune enfolds our hearts.
Soft melodies caress our ears.
We follow: homing toward Agape, hope and faith unbound.
Faithful Mother, Divine Spirit, hovering in the depths of our souls.
Beckoning: a beautiful scene unfurls as the mind’s eye beholds;
The Argos sailing on distant seas.
Lifetime of sailing, arrival, leaving;
Charted courses, voyages of surprise, new shores.
We sail together: stormy seas, oceans until…
the final voyage across the Styx.
Beloved soul coos; she sees on the other side of the river:
the splendor of our Brother’s radiant raiment.
We wait this night: on wings of faith we soar
in the darkness of the new moon our divine sparks quivering, hoping
soon to unite with the Pascal fire: triumphantly it will flare anew, roar.
Promised Logos incarnated, returns…prophets’ voices proclaimed,
Author: Trinity Wall Street
Created: February 14, 2013
We welcome you to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word. — Book of Common Prayer You have begun this season by receiving ashes as a sign of mortality. All spirituality, at its heart, is coming to terms with the implications of our finite existence. Now, continue this journey in the church week by week, and practice it in your daily life. May the season reward you with spiritual riches.
Written by congregation, clergy, and staff of Trinity Wall Street. Produced by congregational volunteers and Creative Services with gratitude to all the writers, poets, artists, and authors, Mildred Chandler, Nola Mayers, James Gomez, the Rev. Matthew Heyd, Terrell L. Moody, and the entire Communications Department.