Monday of Holy Week

Throughout Holy Week at Mama:Monk, you won’t be hearing much from my head. But I’ll be directing you through these days leading up to Easter with art, words from others, and poems that are working themselves out in me. I’m thrilled to be sharing Jan Richardson‘s images with you each day. Her work is influenced by the liturgy and the contemplative life and it speaks so boldly to me. She has been gracious enough to allow us to have access to them.

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"Finding the Focus" Copyright © 2012 Jan Richardson Images. All Rights Reserved.

Isaiah 50:4-10 (TNIV)

The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue,
to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.
The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears;
I have not been rebellious,
I have not turned away.
I offered my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I did not hide my face
from mocking and spitting.
Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint,
and I know I will not be put to shame.
He who vindicates me is near.
Who then will bring charges against me?
Let us face each other!
Who are my accusers?
Let them confront me!
It is the Sovereign Lord who helps me.
Who will condemn me?
They will all wear out like a garment;
the moths will eat them up.

Who among you fears the Lord
and obeys the word of his servant??
Let those who walk in the dark,
who have no light,
trust in the name of the Lord
and rely on their God.

On Matthew 21:9:

“God save the Son of David! / God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord! / God save in the highest places!”

“God save (Hosanna) in the highest places!” The third strophe is a prayer again for God’s salvation…and this time a prayer especially for God’s highest resources of salvation, an appeal to God to pull out all the stops, to save from sources that are the deepest (as we say) or the highest (as the Hebrews said). I think we could translate the phrase in way that makes sense to us like this: “God save in the best way!” Matthew has added en tois hypsistois (literally, “in [or, ‘with’] the highest”) to the Psalm, and the editing is his way of saying “We need an unusual salvation.” No object of salvation is given, but in the context the object is Jesus. In saving Jesus by resurrection, the “highest” resource of all, God saved all who trust Jesus from the terror of death. The people’s prayer for the best salvation was answered.

-Dale Bruner, Matthew, A Commentary, Volume 2: The Churchbook, 357 (emphasis mine)

May Jesus’ Death Be My Life

O Christ Jesus,
may your death be my life,
your labor my repose,
your human weakness my strength,
your confusion my glory.

-Blessed Peter Faber, SJ (from Hearts on Fire: Praying with Jesuits)

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