Monday of Holy Week – Prayer of the Week

Almighty and everlasting God, You sent Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, to take upon Himself our flesh and to suffer death upon the cross. Mercifully grant that we may follow the example of His great humility and patience and be made partakers of His resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

This is one of those prayers which should probably come with a warning label. We ask to follow Jesus’ example of humility and patience so we can partake in the resurrection. That is a dangerous prayer to pray in Holy Week. Jesus goes to his death, deliberately and with open eyes. They will beat him savagely, scourge him until his blood runs, humiliate him, and kill in unimaginable agony. Do we really want his humility and patience?

I have known people who have resembled Jesus in patience and humility. Often it is not an easy thing to see. They have patiently endured great suffering while I could only sit by and hold their hand. Some have been falsely accused and gone to prison. Others have been stripped of all they had and rendered helpless and weak by disease and misfortune. I have listened to them weep bitter tears and heard them draw their last breath. I know that one day may face just such a challenge. I pray this prayer because Jesus has taken this part of life upon himself, more fully than anyone I have ever known has done. His suffering was always more, always deeper. I will not plumb the depths of His human experience. I will only sip its bitterness. He drank it deeply. But that sip is more than enough for me. I cling to him in that day and would look like him in every way open to me. For he has passed through his suffering and death to resurrection, and He brings me with Himself to that empty tomb which is my tomb.

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