Friday Afternoon Reflections 

Begin with listening to this piece of music prayerfully, followed by a few minutes of silence. The lyrics and their meaning are shown below:

 

Agnus Dei (Lamb of God)
Agnus Dei (Lamb of God)
Dona nobis pacem (Grant us peace)
Agnus Dei (Lamb of God)
Agnus Dei (Lamb of God)
Dona eis Requiem (Grant them eternal rest)
In pacem aeterna pacem, in pacem (In eternal peace, for peace, in peace)

Agnus DeiLibera
00:00 / 02:53

Read the following passage slowly. Allow yourself to enter the story in your imagination, and listen for a word or phrase that stands out for you:

 

Luke 23:26‭-‭‬43

As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. ...

Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”

The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Pause for a moment in your reading, and prayerfully listen to this Taize chant "Jesus remember me".

Jesus remember meTaize
00:00 / 04:42

When you are ready, continue reading:

 

Mark 15:33‭-‭‬36, Luke 23:45-49 

At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”

Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.

The curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.​

Pause again in your reading, and dwell on the phrase “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  Are there any areas where you have felt abandoned and forsaken by God?  Carry these in your mind and heart as you listen to the following song my Michael Card "Death of a Son". 

Death of a sonMichael Card
00:00 / 03:28

How does it feel to pray with Jesus “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” ? Express your responses honestly to God, as Jesus did. Are you able to allow this to be a prayer of surrender and trust, even while you remain in the space of despair and not knowing?

When you are ready, continue reading:

 

Luke 23:50-56 

Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

The burial of Jesus took place in the late afternoon just before the Sabbath - Holy Saturday in the Christian calendar. This was a time of utter defeat and confusion for Jesus' followers, a time of waiting with no idea what would happen next. Allow yourself to enter this time of waiting over the next day and a half, reflecting on what this time of the dark unknowing of the tomb means for you. What does it mean to cling to hope in the face of uncertainty, fear and despair?

RETREAT
CENTRE

Tel: 082 465 1514            Email: bestill@solitude.org.za

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