You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.
Reflection: The Prayer From the Cross
By John Tillman
On the day the Church now calls Good Friday, when Jesus hung on the cross and cried out, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani,” people were confused about what he meant. Some even thought he was crying out to Elijah.
Truthfully, we don’t know exactly what was in Christ’s mind, and we also don’t know that he wasn’t thinking multiple things all at the same time, as most humans do in stressful and painful situations.
The clearest, simplest explanation that I lean toward is that Jesus was intentionally quoting Psalm 22, which appeared in our reading plan on Palm Sunday. Jesus knew that most of his audience would recognize the quote and understand that he was referencing the entire psalm. If I said, “To be or not to be,” many people would recognize that I was referencing Hamlet’s entire monologue and its meaning. People less familiar with Hamlet might be confused. Some might think it was from some other source, such as an Arnold Schwarzenegger film.
So, on this Good Friday, we will join Christ in his suffering, praying excerpts from this psalm prayed on the cross, ending with excerpts from Psalm 30 from our reading for today.
Make these psalms our prayer, today and over Holy Saturday as we await the joy of resurrection morn.
Praying with Christ, from the Cross (Psalm 22):
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
“let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”
Yet you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
From birth I was cast on you;
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
You who fear the Lord, praise him!
For he has not despised or scorned
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help.
Future generations will be told about the Lord.
They will proclaim his righteousness,
declaring to a people yet unborn:
He has done it!
Weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.
Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? And are so far from my cry and from the words of my distress? — Psalm 22.1
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.
Leviticus 23 (Listen – 6:31)
Psalm 30 (Listen – 2:41)
Leviticus 24 (Listen – 2:58) Psalm 31 (Listen – 3:11)
Leviticus 25 (Listen – 7:41) Psalm 32 (Listen – 1:34)
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