Lenten Meditations: Sunday 21 March

Mar 21, 2021 by

Mar 21
am  Ps 51.1-13r

pm Ps 119.9-16

Jer 31.31-34; Hebrews 5.5-10 John 12.20-33



LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY:  Until the introduction of the new liturgical calendar in 1969, these final two weeks of Lent were known as Passiontide, Prior to Vatican II, it was typical practice to read a passion narrative on the Sunday prior, then celebrate Palm Sunday as a day in itself to kick off Holy Week.  It was on this day that the  veiling of the Cross is a relic from an ancient practice. When crosses, without the corpus, shone glorious with gold and precious stones (the crux gemmata), there was deep meaning in the practice of veiling their brilliance during the days when the Bridegroom was taken away. There are still many  Anglican churches that follow this practice and observe today as  Passion Sunday based on their observation of the rubrics of the Sarum Rite where those parishes would use crimson vestiture on the fifth Sunday of Lent (replacing the unbleached muslin cloth known as the Lenten Array.

MEDITATION OF THE DAY:  Ernest Hemingway once wrote  “The coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave but one’ . No doubt when he wrote that he did not envision the COVID 19 epidemic  which has resulted not in cowards but people of good will having a daily experience of  fear and worry  ranging from  anxiety to panic. The call to embrace faith perhaps has not been more resonant in the modern period. Jesus  seeks to help and suggest that we must come to terms with the reality of this life having a termination point . Yet our culture in the West has a certain dynamism which  refuses to acknowledge the reality of death. As a matter of fact, we avoid and deny death in almost every possible context  but in doing so we are making our own obstacles to encounter Jesus and the promise of Resurrection.


We deal with various deaths daily. It could be the death of relationships, dreams, careers, and health. In those experiences we have to face that painful thought this may be, the loss of this love or this job is not  the end of our existence.  Typically, newness is birthed out of that loss as the planting burst from  the seed. We are reminded in many ways there is no resurrection without a death. The hopeful and good news is that in God’s world strength is found in weakness, victory looks like defeat, and life is born of death. But in order to embrace that one must live into the essence of God’s vision and values  not live in exclusively in those values that will not sustain.  Will it eradicate COVID-19? Not at first pass but it will give us a pathway to live through it and rise from it, which is the same impetus and knowledge that compels Jesus to march to Jerusalem in these final weeks of the journey.



PRAYER OF THE DAY:  Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down to show us the way of true freedom, peace and joy, we ask this week of Lent to be the exemplar of grace and humility so that your Son may live in us, and we in him, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

ANCIENT WISDOM/PRESENT GRACE:  Hence everyone expels himself from the kingdom by his own choice, though not embracing suffering and denying himself for the sake of the truth but wanting to enjoy something of this world in addition to that divine longing, and not surrendering the whole inclination of his will to God”. — St. Symeon Metaphrastis

Lenten Discipline – Our society constantly seeks to avoid pain and loss. Consider people in  your life who have endured pain and loss who are grief stricken. Pray for them, offer solace to them through a note, a call and act of kindness this day.

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