THEME:Subtracting Distraction, Gaining Jesus
BREATH PRAYER: Jesus, keep me centered at the foot of the cross.
So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.'” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.” This was to fulfill what the scripture says,
“They divided my clothes among themselves,
and for my clothing they cast lots.”
And that is what the soldiers did.
Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
- In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
- Open with silence. Set a timer for 1, 3, or 5 minutes so you can be free to rest and breathe deeply.
- Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.
- Read the centering verse above slowly (aloud or silently).
- Pause for a few moments of silence, then pray this week’s breath prayer.
Today, we use our “Biblical imagination” and the Lord’s guidance to mentally insert ourselves into different parts of the crucifixion story to allow this event to penetrate our hearts.
Read the centering passage again and imagine that you are in Jerusalem on the day Jesus was sent to the cross. Imagine you are part of the crowd that has been following this spectacle. What does it feel like outside? Do you notice any particular smells? Do you hear anything that catches your attention? Write down any thoughts that come to mind in your journal.
“So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha.”
As you watch this man carry his cross, what sounds do you hear now? How does it feel to watch this man carry the instrument of his own execution?
“There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them.”
As you stand on the hill of Golgotha, what do you see? What do you feel on your face? What do you feel in your heart?
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
Imagine you are watching this unfold. Now imagine that Jesus turns to you. What does he say to you?
“Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
Stay in this moment. Imagine that you have no idea what is going to happen on the third day. All you know is what you see in front of you. How does your body feel? What is your body’s posture? What is your heart’s posture?
Summary: Write in your journal a brief summary (five sentences or less) of your practice.
Closing: Jesus, keep me centered at the foot of the cross.