Category Archives: Lent

Good Friday Reflection Station 1: Jesus is Condemned to Death

from Joan Chittister, OSB


station 1First Station: Jesus is Condemned to Death


As soon as it was morning, the chief priests, with the elders and scribes, and the whole council, held a consultation; and they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him to Pilate. And they all condemned him and said, “He deserves to die.” When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. Then he handed Jesus over to them to be crucified.



The First Station commemorates Jesus being sentenced to death before the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate.  Jesus is condemned to die because he defied the standards of both  the state and the religious establishment in which he lived. To both, he brought a truth they did not want to hear. He set out to witness to the love and justice of the God of all creation: Jews and non-Jews, women as well as men, underlings as well as the professional types of his time. He threatened the establishment with his incessant attempts to build a better world, and they destroyed him for it.


What is it in life for which we are willing to be condemned? The goal in life is not to avoid condemnation. No one does. Life’s great challenge is simply to decide who will condemn us and why. If we were better people, perhaps we would be condemned more often. Most of all, when we are condemned for the right reasons, the first station reminds us, we know we will not be alone. Jesus will be standing beside us, hands tied, head up and unyielding.



Jesus, when I am being condemned for doing good where wrong has been, strengthen me. Amen.


Even Judas

judasMaundy Thursday – Even Judas

John 13:1-17; 31b-35

April 17, 2014


In my last church there is a relief on the front wall –

It’s a sculpture of sorts of the Last Supper.

The silhouette of Jesus’ head is in the center

And the other disciples are on each side of him.


There is a loaf of bread broken in half,

And a cup on the table in front of the figures.


Members told me that the relief is especially meaningful to them at Holy Communion

because they feel connected to Jesus and his last supper as they receive the bread and wine.


One thing that I’ve always found interesting about the relief

is that each silhouette is surrounded by a halo.

Each of them has a halo…except that is, Judas.

And that has always bothered me.

Continue reading

The Parade Passes By

paradePalm-Passion Sunday

April 13, 2014

Matthew 21:1-11


Who doesn’t love a parade?

I’d have been there right with them!

Waving my branch,

Singing hosanna!


When you think about it,

Many of those in line probably didn’t even know who Jesus was.

They’d been wrapped up in the excitement of the moment,

Someone handed them a palm,

And along they came!

Continue reading

Come Out!


Lent 5A – Come Out!

John 11:1-45

April 6, 2014


Jesus said “Lazarus come out!”

“and the dead man came out.”

and then what…?


What did Lazarus do?

What had Lazarus seen?

What did Lazarus talk about?


I don’t know.

The Bible doesn’t really say.


The playwright Eugene O’Neill imagined a bit

about what he thought happened next.

He wrote about it in a play called “Lazarus Laughed.”


In the play,

that’s what the dead man who’s no longer dead does – he laughs.


O’Neill describes his laugh this way:

“-a so full of a complete acceptance of life,

a profound assertion of joy in living,

so devoid of all self-consciousness or fear,

that it is like a great bird song triumphant in depths of sky,

proud and powerful, infectious with love,

casting on the listener an enthralling spell.

The crowd …is caught by it.”

Continue reading

Who’s Really Blind?

Lent 4A: Change of Sight: Who’s Really Blind?

eyeJohn 9:1-41

March 30, 2014


Katie was a classmate of mine in elementary school.

​We were in many of the same classes for kindergarten through 6th grade.


I remember her younger brother well…

​he played trombone in the band,

​​he had a whacky sense of humor,

​​​he played baseball…


I remember her brother well…

​but I don’t remember much about Katie

even though she was in my class for seven years.


In fact, the only thing I really remember about Katie

​is that she was blind.


I and others identified Katie by her disability.

​She was the “blind girl” at Dawes School.

And sadly that’s all we knew.

Continue reading

Loved Anyway

shockingLent 4A Change of Habit: Loved Anyway

John 4:5-42

March 23, 2014


“He told me everything I have ever done.”


There was a television show from the 1950’s and 60’s

the reruns of which have been on cable again.

The name of the show is “I’ve Got a Secret.”

(Maybe some of you saw the originals!)


It’s a game show with a panel of celebrity guests

who have to guess the secret of the contestant.

The secret is something unusual or humorous or embarrassing that the person has done.

If the contestant stumps the panel after a round of questioning,

they win (get this) a whopping $10!


Most of the secrets from the TV show are rather benign…

…an unusual job someone once had,

or an odd hobby.


Nothing really embarrassing,

nothing shameful.

Nothing like the secret of the woman at the well.

Continue reading

Practicing a Change of Heart

Practice pinned on noticeboardLent 2A: Practicing a Change of Heart

John 3:1-17

March 16, 2014


In our classes these past few weeks on World Religions.

We’ve discovered a lot of similarities

among various religions of the world…


We’ve talked about common values of love and compassion;

We’ve talked about similar rituals to ours – such as baptism;

We’ve talked about some very similar stories in the sacred writings and even similar people in many of them

(On Thursday night we heard about the stories of Noah and Moses and Abraham in the Quran.)


We’ve also tried to get an understanding of some of the things

that are different from Christianity.


One of the beliefs that I find difficult to connect with,

Is a belief that Hindus and Buddhists have in reincarnation –

the idea that after one dies, one is reborn – born again

but in a different form.

The cycle of birth, death, and rebirth

can go on over and over again…tens, hundreds, or even thousands of years!


Frankly, I don’t really think I want to be born again!

(…or am I already?….That is the question for today!)

Continue reading