by Victor Hoagland, C.P.
Jesus is pierced by a lance
Hide yourself in the Passion of Jesus. --St Paul of the Cross
At times we sense that our whole life is a journey. We are returning to the Father, just as Jesus returned to his Father after fulfilling his mission to bring good news. “And bowing his head, he handed over his spirit.” No more sleepless nights, no more controversial arguments with the Pharisees, no more disappointment and betrayal from his closest disciples. When life has been a great struggle, as it was for Jesus, death brings a certain rest.
The soldiers knew that Jesus was already dead, yet one of them thrust his lance into the side of Jesus: “And immediately blood and water flowed out.” The lance did not kill Jesus. Ironically, the weapon of death became a source of life.
In the side of Christ, the lance opened a door of salvation for us. The Church and the sacraments born from that pierced side accompany us on our journey back to the Father. From birth until the hour when we bow our head and hand over our spirit, God’s gracious love touches our life in its most significant moments.
From the side of Christ comes the life-giving grace we need to return safely to the Father. In times of temptation and danger, we can hide ourselves in the Side of Jesus, finding strength in the sacraments which flow from that place of salvific grace.
Come, let us adore Christ the Lord, who was pierced by the lance for us.Behold, he is coming amid the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him.
Psalm 57, 1-6Have mercy on me, God,
have mercy on me.
In you I seek shelter.
In the shadow of your winds I seek shelter
till harm pass by.
I call to God Most High,
to God who provides for me.
May God send help from heaven to save me,
shame those who trample upon me.
May God send fidelity and love.
I must lie down in the midst of lions
hungry for human prey.
Their teeth are spears and arrows,
their tongue, a sharpened sword.
Show yourself over the heavens, God;
may your glory appear above all the earth.
Reading: 1 John 5, 5-8This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ, not by water alone, but by water and blood. The Spirit is the one that testifies, and the Spirit is truth. So there are three that testify, the Spirit, the water and the blood, and the three are of one accord.
IntercessionsJesus, your side was opened by a lance and poured forth blood and water to symbolize the birth of your spouse, the church;— keep your church spotless and holy.
You opened heaven to the penitent thief;— open it also to all the dead who embrace you as their Redeemer.
Jesus, our Savior, who gave your life out of love for your brothers and sisters,— may we love each other with a love like yours.
Lord Jesus,crucified for love of us,
your heart was pierced by a lance
and flowed with blood and water.
In your mercy,
draw us to your open heart,
cleanse us from our sins
and help us to grow daily in your love.
Illustration: Duk Soon