Today each one’s heart is Jerusalem’s gates. Today Jesus desires to enter our hearts and abide in us. His selfless love moves us to consider ourselves. Perhaps we might be like Peter and announce our faith with our lips but refuse to allow our hearts to own Jesus in his suffering. If that is anyone’s typical struggle, take courage, because Jesus never disavowed Peter. Jesus sought him out to restore him and build his church on him and his brother apostles.
If you are a Simon of Cyrene, take up your cross and follow Christ. If you are crucified beside him like one of the thieves, now, like the good thief, acknowledge your God. For your sake, and because of your sin, Christ himself was regarded as a sinner; for his sake, therefore, you must cease to sin. Worship him who has hung upon the cross because of you, even if you are hanging there yourself. Derive some benefit from the very shame; purchase your salvation with your death. Enter paradise with Jesus, and discover how far you have fallen. Contemplate the glories there. . .
If you are a Joseph of Arimathea, go to the one who ordered his crucifixion, and ask for Christ’s body. Make you own the expiation of sins for the whole world. If you are a Nicodemus, like the man who worshiped God by night, bring spices and prepare Christ’s body for burial. If you are one of the Marys, or Salome, or Joanna, weep in the early morning. Be the first to see the stone rolled back, and even the angels perhaps, and Jesus himself.1
Like Jesus, darkness is not our end. Light longs to break forth, life desires to emerge. Light and life, Jesus demonstrated, issue in praise. Jesus prayed that psalm on the cross—no Jew prayed only the first line; the first line was its title. Jesus prayed through his darkness, and it led him to praise, the way the psalm ends: I will proclaim your name [God] to my brethren; in the midst of the assembly, I will praise you.
- Enter into the Trinity, who desired from their eternity to save the human race.2
- Ask those who hailed Jesus as King to present you to Jesus.
- In your words praise Jesus as your King.
- Ask Jesus for grace to guide you in personal darkness to be a source of his risen light and life to others.
- Close saying slowly the Lord’s Prayer. His prayer becomes our personal connection with Jesus, who transforms how we live and how we move through life.