Good, Year B

 

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Musical Reflection
That I Would Be Good by Alanis Morissette

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Invocation

God, you are punctured,
no longer divided
between inside and out,
knowing in your flesh
the sharp violence that kills what it fears:
take us through the narrow door
from which an endless river flows
into a new body – wounded but unafraid;
through Jesus Christ, the passion of God.
Amen.

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First Reading
Only if Love Should Pierce You
by Salvatore Quasimodo
translated by Jack Bevan
Do not forget that you live in the midst of the animals,
horses, cats, sewer rats
brown as Solomon’s woman, terrible
camp with colours flying,
do not forget the dog with harmonies of the unreal
in tongue and tail, nor the green lizard, the blackbird,
the nightingale, viper, drone. Or you are pleased to think
that you live among pure men and virtuous
women who do not touch the howl of the frog in love, green
as the greenest branch of the blood.
Birds watch you from trees, and the leaves
are aware that the Mind is dead
forever, its remnant savours of burnt
cartilage, rotten plastic; do not forget
to be animal, fit and sinuous,
torrid in violence, wanting everything here
on earth, before the final cry
when the body is cadence of shrivelled memories
and the spirit hastens to the eternal end;
remember that you can be the being of being
only if love should pierce you deep inside.
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Second Reading
Good Friday
by Maria Melendez Kelson
Jesus, I want my sins back.
My prattle, pride, and private prices —

climbing, clinching, clocking —

I might loan you a few for the evening,
so you don’t show up at your own crucifixion

naked of all purpose.

But for God’s sake, don’t spill any
redemption on them! They’re my

signature looks. Body by Envy.

Make up & wardrobe provided by Avarice. Lord,
if you take away my inordinate cravings,

what the hell’s left? Do you know

how much I paid for my best rages?
I want them all back if they’re

so To Die For. Else shred my palms,

wash my face with spit, let the whip
unlace my flesh and free the naked blood,

let me be tumbled to immortality

with the stew of flood debris
that is my life.

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Gospel Reading
John 18:1-19:42

After he said these things, Jesus went out with his disciples and crossed over to the other side of the Kidron Valley. He and his disciples entered a garden there. Judas, his betrayer, also knew the place because Jesus often gathered there with his disciples. Judas brought a company of soldiers and some guards from the chief priests and Pharisees. They came there carrying lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus knew everything that was to happen to him, so he went out and asked, “Who are you looking for?”

They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.”

He said to them, “I Am.” (Judas, his betrayer, was standing with them.) When he said, “I Am,” they shrank back and fell to the ground. He asked them again, “Who are you looking for?”

They said, “Jesus the Nazarene.”

Jesus answered, “I told you, ‘I Am.’ If you are looking for me, then let these people go.” This was so that the word he had spoken might be fulfilled: “I didn’t lose anyone of those whom you gave me.”

Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) Jesus told Peter, “Put your sword away! Am I not to drink the cup God has given me?” Then the company of soldiers, the commander, and the guards from the religious leaders took Jesus into custody. They bound him and led him first to Annas. He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. (Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it was better for one person to die for the people.)

Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Because this other disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard. However, Peter stood outside near the gate. Then the other disciple (the one known to the high priest) came out and spoke to the woman stationed at the gate, and she brought Peter in. The servant woman stationed at the gate asked Peter, “Aren’t you one of this man’s disciples?”

“I’m not,” he replied. The servants and the guards had made a fire because it was cold. They were standing around it, warming themselves. Peter joined them there, standing by the fire and warming himself.

Meanwhile, the chief priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered, “I’ve spoken openly to the world. I’ve always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jewish people gather. I’ve said nothing in private. Why ask me? Ask those who heard what I told them. They know what I said.”

After Jesus spoke, one of the guards standing there slapped Jesus in the face. “Is that how you would answer the high priest?” he asked.

Jesus replied, “If I speak wrongly, testify about what was wrong. But if I speak correctly, why do you strike me?” Then Annas sent him, bound, to Caiaphas the high priest.

Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing with the guards, warming himself. They asked, “Aren’t you one of his disciples?”

Peter denied it, saying, “I’m not.”

A servant of the high priest, a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said to him, “Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?” Peter denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed.

The religious leaders led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Roman governor’s palace. It was early in the morning. So that they could eat the Passover, the religious leaders wouldn’t enter the palace; entering the palace would have made them ritually impure.

So Pilate went out to them and asked, “What charge do you bring against this person?”

They answered, “If he had done nothing wrong, we wouldn’t have handed him over to you.”

Pilate responded, “Take him yourselves and judge him according to your Law.”

The religious leaders replied, “The Law doesn’t allow us to kill anyone.” (This was so that Jesus’s word might be fulfilled when he indicated how he was going to die.)

Pilate went back into the palace. He summoned Jesus and asked, “Are you the king of the Jewish people?”

Jesus answered, “Do you say this on your own or have others spoken to you about me?”

Pilate responded, “I’m not Jewish, am I? Your nation and its chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?”

Jesus replied, “My kingdom doesn’t originate from this world. If it did, my guards would fight so that I wouldn’t have been arrested by the religious leaders. My kingdom isn’t from here.”

“So you are a king?” Pilate said.

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. I was born and came into the world for this reason: to testify to the truth. Whoever accepts the truth listens to my voice.”

“What is truth?” Pilate asked.

After Pilate said this, he returned to the religious leaders and said, “I find no grounds for any charge against him. You have a custom that I release one prisoner for you at Passover. Do you want me to release for you the king of the Jewish people?”

They shouted, “Not this man! Give us Barabbas!” (Barabbas was an outlaw.)

Then Pilate had Jesus taken and whipped. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and dressed him in a purple robe. Over and over they went up to him and said, “All hail the king!” And they slapped him in the face.

Pilate came out of the palace again and said to the Jewish leaders, “Look! I’m bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no grounds for a charge against him.” When Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here he is.”

When the chief priests and their deputies saw him, they shouted out, “Crucify, crucify!”

Pilate told them, “You take him and crucify him. I don’t find any grounds for a charge against him.”

The religious leaders replied, “We have a Law, and according to this Law he ought to die because he made himself out to be God’s child.”

When Pilate heard this word, he was even more afraid. He went back into the residence and spoke to Jesus, “Where are you from?” Jesus didn’t answer. So Pilate said, “You won’t speak to me? Don’t you know that I have authority to release you and also to crucify you?”

Jesus replied, “You would have no authority over me if it had not been given to you from above. That’s why the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” From that moment on, Pilate wanted to release Jesus.

However, the religious leaders cried out, saying, “If you release him, you aren’t a friend of the emperor! Anyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes the emperor!”

When Pilate heard these words, he led Jesus out and seated him on the judge’s bench at the place called Stone Pavement (in Aramaic, Gabbatha). It was about noon on the Preparation Day for the Passover. Pilate said to the religious leaders, “Here’s your king.”

The Jewish leaders cried out, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”

Pilate responded, “What? Do you want me to crucify your king?”

“We have no king except the emperor,” the chief priests answered. Then Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified.

The soldiers took Jesus prisoner. Carrying his cross by himself, he went out to a place called Skull Place (in Aramaic, Golgotha). That’s where they crucified him—and two others with him, one on each side and Jesus in the middle. Pilate had a public notice written and posted on the cross. It read “Jesus the Nazarene, the king of the Jewish people.” Many people read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city and it was written in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek. Therefore, the  chief priests complained to Pilate, “Don’t write, ‘The king of the Jewish people’ but ‘This man said, “I am the king of the Jewish people.”’”

Pilate answered, “What I’ve written, I’ve written.”

When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and his sandals, and divided them into four shares, one for each soldier. His shirt was seamless, woven as one piece from the top to the bottom. They said to each other, “Let’s not tear it. Let’s cast lots to see who will get it.” This was to fulfill the scripture,

They divided my clothes among themselves,
    and they cast lots for my clothing.
        That’s what the soldiers did.

Jesus’s mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood near the cross. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

After this, knowing that everything was already completed, in order to fulfill the scripture, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was nearby, so the soldiers soaked a sponge in it, placed it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When he had received the sour wine, Jesus said, “It is completed.” Bowing his head, he gave up his life.

It was the Preparation Day and the religious leaders didn’t want the bodies to remain on the cross on the Sabbath, especially since that Sabbath was an important day. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of those crucified broken and the bodies taken down. Therefore, the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men who were crucified with Jesus. When they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead so they didn’t break his legs. However, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. The one who saw this has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows that he speaks the truth, and he has testified so that you also can believe. These things happened to fulfill the scripture, They won’t break any of his bones. And another scripture says, They will look at him whom they have pierced.

After this Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate if he could take away the body of Jesus. Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one because he feared the religious authorities. Pilate gave him permission, so he came and took the body away. Nicodemus, the one who at first had come to Jesus at night, was there too. He brought a mixture of myrrh and aloe, nearly seventy-five pounds in all. Following Jewish burial customs, they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it, with the spices, in linen cloths. There was a garden in the place where Jesus was crucified, and in the garden was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish Preparation Day and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus in it.

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 Musical Reflection
Final Thoughts and the Last Day on Earth by David Usher

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Good Friday Novena 3
Catholic traditional, adapted

O Great Passion,
O Deep Wounds,
O Blood shed in abundance
O Cruel Death,
O Sweetness above all sweetness
Have mercy on me,
and grant me perfect contrition,
and the grace to amend my life,
through the infinite merits of the Passion and Death
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

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The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father/Mother/Parent,
who is in us here on earth,
holy is your name in the hungry who share their bread and their song.
Your Kindom come,
which is a generous land which flows with milk and honey.
Let us do your will,
standing up when all are sitting down,
and raising our voice when all are silent.
You are giving us our daily bread in the song of the bird and the miracle of the corn.
Forgive us for keeping silent in the face of injustice,
and for burying our dreams, for not sharing bread and wine, love and land, among us, now.
Don’t let us fall into the temptation of shutting the door through fear;
of resigning ourselves to hunger and injustice;
of taking up the same arms as the enemy.
But deliver us from evil.
Give us the perseverance and the solidarity to look for love,
even if the path has not yet been trodden,
even if we fail;
so we shall have known your Kindom which is being built forever and ever.
Amen.

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Musical Reflection
Kingdom Come by The Civil Wars

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Blessing

May the cross be the sign
in which we begin again
to undo the cords of violence,
the misery of exclusion,
and proclaim the love
without conditions;

and the blessing of God,
the Rock, the Redeemer, and the Friend,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.

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Sources:

Artwork by Bruce Onobrakpeya

Invocation and Blessing from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection That I Would Be Good by Alanis Morissette

Poem Only if Love Should Pierce You by Salvatore Quasimodo

Poem Good Friday by Maria Melendez Kelson

Musical Reflection Final Thoughts and the Last Day on Earth by David Usher

Good Friday Novena Prayer

Lord’s Prayer Latin American Paraphrase

Musical Reflection Kingdom Come by The Civil Wars

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