Worship At Home
Small Group Reflection of 04-05-20
In these days of social distancing we have endeavored to provide a Corpus Christi online worship experience. The Worship At Home web page has been our attempt to provide that. One of the ways our community has used this resource has been to gather virtually in real time using video conferencing software like FaceTime, Skype, Messenger, and Zoom. In an effort to hold onto our deep liturgical roots, one virtual group has gone to the point of having rotating presiders, lectors, and even homilists. The reflections provided by the members of this group have often been very inspiring. In an effort to share these reflections with the larger community several of them have been collected and published here on the CC website.
Reflection from 04-05-20, provided by Mike Cole
Take a moment and ponder where you were at 6 weeks ago with the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Were you full of hope for the season? Were you thinking about how you were going to take this time to deepen your relationship with God, with others, with yourself? Were you thinking about what you were going to give up for Lent and knew that THIS year you were going to make it all the way through Easter and not even cheat on Sundays? Were you thinking about how you were going to DO something for yourself or for someone else? Now think about how that may have all changed in the last three weeks. Did you give up on the season of Lent altogether, did you adapt, or did you embrace this season of Lent more with the understanding that Easter Sunday will arrive regardless where you are or what you have done? The world around us is moving quickly. Information bombards us everyday and sometimes every hour; life seemingly changing right in front of us.
In today’s Liturgy we face quite a contrast of experiences and emotions. We begin our celebration listening to the story of Jesus being welcomed into Jerusalem with great joy and exultation! “Hosanna” they cried out. “Hosanna in the Highest!” Jesus was treated as He should have been treated. People were excited to see Him and there was much excitement.
But this excitement quickly turned to shock and horror as we enter more deeply into today’s readings. The Gospel culminates with Jesus hanging on the Cross crying out “Eloi. Eloi, lema sabachthani?” “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” And with that, “Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.” At that moment we ponder the reality of Christ’s death.
How things can change in one short week. What happened to all the people who were shouting and praising Him as He entered into Jerusalem? How could they allow Him to enter into his Crucifixion and death?
At any time during that first Holy Week, Jesus could have exercised His divine power and refused to embrace His Cross. But He didn’t. Instead, He willingly walked through this week anticipating and embracing the suffering and rejection He received. And He didn’t do so begrudgingly or even with regret. He embraced this week willingly, choosing it as His own will.
Why would He do such a thing? Why would He choose suffering and death? Because in the Father’s perfect wisdom, this suffering and death was for a greater purpose. God chose to confound the wisdom of the world by using His own suffering and Crucifixion as the perfect means of our holiness. In this act, He transformed the greatest evil into the greatest good. Now, as a result of our faith in this act, the crucifix hangs centrally in our churches and in our homes as a constant reminder that not even the greatest of evils can overcome the power, wisdom and love of God. God is more powerful than death itself and God has the final victory even when all seems lost.
Let this week give you divine hope. As we move into this Holy Week it is easy to be tempted toward discouragement and, even worse, we can be tempted toward despair as we live our lives through social distancing. But all is not lost for us either. Nothing can ultimately steal away our joy unless we let it. No hardship, no burden and no cross can conquer us if we remain steadfast in Christ Jesus letting him transform all we endure in life by His glorious embrace of His own Cross.
Reflect, today, upon the contrast of emotions we have been feeling from the beginning of Lent though Good Friday and even Easter Sunday. Ponder the fear, confusion and despair that many would have had as they saw Jesus murdered. Ponder your fear, confusion and despair that you may be feeling the last several weeks as we move into Easter Sunday. The Lord gave His life freely and calls you to do the same. Reflect upon how God is calling you to give yourself freely this week. Reflect upon the cross in your life. Know that the Lord can use this for good, bringing forth an abundance of mercy through your free embrace as you offer it to Him as a willing sacrifice. Blessed Holy Week! Put your eyes upon the Lord’s Cross as well as your own.