Monday, April 02, 2012

Scriptures and Reflection Questions for The Triduum

Scriptures and Reflection Questions
The Triduum, Year B

April 5-8, 2012

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The Collects

Maundy Thursday

Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the
 Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully
in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a
pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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Good Friday


Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord
Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and
to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Easter Vigil

O God, who made this most holy night to shine with the glory of the Lord's resurrection:
Stir up in your Church that Spirit of adoption which is given to us in Baptism,
that we, being renewed both in body and mind, may worship you in sincerity and truth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the
Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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Easter Day


O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross,
and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant
 us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his
 resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with
 you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
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Episcopal Revised Common Lectionary
Year B
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How to use this page:


Print this and read a different passage each day and think about it.  Some questions
are offered to help stimulate your reflection.  You'll find your experience of worship
on Sunday will be intensified.

For a method to read and pray with the scriptures you might try to use the ancient
practice of Lectio Divina (Divine Reading).  We've written some instructions on
how to use Lectio with the Sunday Scriptures at the following link: http://www.stpaulsfay.org/id272.html

We use the Episcopal Revised Common Lectionary.
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The Gospel for Maundy Thursday
John 13:1-17, 31b-35


Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart
from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world,
he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son
of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father
had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going
 to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around
 himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet
and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter,
who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" Jesus answered, "You do
not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand." Peter said to him,
 "You will never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no
share with me." Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only but also my hands
and my head!" Jesus said to him, "One who has bathed does not need to wash, except
for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you."
For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, "Not all of you are
clean."

After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table,
he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord--and
you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed
your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have set you an example,
that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants
are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent
them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in
him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and
will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You
will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, `Where I am going,
you cannot come.' I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just
as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know
that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
_________

What does Jesus' washing of the feet of his disciples mean to you?

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the Gospel for Good Friday
the Passion according to John (John 18:1-19:42)


Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there
was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also
knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas brought
a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees,
and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all
that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, "Whom are you looking for?"
They answered, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus replied, "I am he." Judas, who betrayed
him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, "I am he," they stepped back
and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, "Whom are you looking for?" And they
said, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus answered, "I told you that I am he. So if you are
looking for me, let these men go." This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken,
"I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me." Then Simon Peter, who had
a sword, drew it, struck the high priest's slave, and cut off his right ear. The
 slave's name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword back into its sheath.
Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?"

So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him.
First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest
that year. Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have
one person die for the people.

Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to
the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter
was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high
priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in.
 The woman said to Peter, "You are not also one of this man's disciples, are you?"
He said, "I am not." Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because
it was cold, and they were standing around it and warming themselves. Peter also
 was standing with them and warming himself.

Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching.
Jesus answered, "I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues
and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret.
Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said."
When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face,
saying, "Is that how you answer the high priest?" Jesus answered, "If I have spoken
wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?"
Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, "You are not also
one of his disciples, are you?" He denied it and said, "I am not." One of the slaves
of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, "Did
I not see you in the garden with him?" Again Peter denied it, and at that moment
 the cock crowed.

Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate's headquarters. It was early in the
 morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual
defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. So Pilate went out to them and said,
"What accusation do you bring against this man?" They answered, "If this man were
not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you." Pilate said to them,
"Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law." The Jews replied, "We
 are not permitted to put anyone to death." (This was to fulfill what Jesus had
said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.)

Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, "Are
you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you ask this on your own, or did
others tell you about me?" Pilate replied, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation
and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered,
"My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers
would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my
kingdom is not from here." Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered,
"You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world,
to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."
 Pilate asked him, "What is truth?"

After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, "I find no
case against him. But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover.
Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?" They shouted in reply,
"Not this man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a bandit.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns
and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming
up to him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and striking him on the face. Pilate
went out again and said to them, "Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you
know that I find no case against him." So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns
and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, "Here is the man!" When the chief priests
and the police saw him, they shouted, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" Pilate said to
 them, "Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him." The Jews
answered him, "We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because
he has claimed to be the Son of God."

Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever. He entered his headquarters
again and asked Jesus, "Where are you from?" But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate
therefore said to him, "Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have
power to release you, and power to crucify you?" Jesus answered him, "You would
have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one
 who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin." From then on Pilate tried
to release him, but the Jews cried out, "If you release this man, you are no friend
of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor."

When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge's bench
at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha. Now it was the day
of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, "Here
is your King!" They cried out, "Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!" Pilate
asked them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no
 king but the emperor." Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

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.

Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the
cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity.
So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies
 removed. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other
who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was
 already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced
 his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out. (He who saw this has
testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that
 he tells the truth.) These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled,
"None of his bones shall be broken." And again another passage of scripture says,
"They will look on the one whom they have pierced."

After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret
one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body
of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus,
who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh
and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped
it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews.
Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there
was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish
day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

________

What moment in this reading of the Passion Gospel particularly catches your attention?
Why do you think you were drawn to it?


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the Gospel for the Great Vigil  (Mark 16:1-8)

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome
bought spices, so that they might go and anoint Jesus. And very early on the first
day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying
to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?"
When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already
been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white
robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, "Do
 not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has
been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell
his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will
 see him, just as he told you." So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror
and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

___________

What do you think went through the women's minds and emotions?

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The Readings for Easter Day


Acts 10:34-43
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
John 20:1-18
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Acts 10:34-43


Peter began to speak to the gentiles: "I truly understand that God shows no partiality,
but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to
 him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus
Christ -- he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in
Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all
who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that
he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a
 tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all
 the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank
 with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and
to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead.
All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness
of sins through his name."

___________

What do you imagine was especially radical or striking to those who first listened
to this message?


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Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24


Give thanks to God who is good, *
     whose mercy endures for ever.

Let Israel now proclaim, *
     "God's mercy endures for ever."

God is my strength and my song *
     and has become my salvation.

There is a sound of exultation and victory *
     in the tents of the righteous:

"The right hand of the Most High has triumphed; *
     the right hand of the Most High is exalted;
     the right hand of the Most High has triumphed!"

I shall not die, but live *
     and declare the works of God.

God has punished me sorely, *
     but did not hand me over to death.

Open for me the gates of righteousness; *
     I will enter them;
     I will offer thanks to God.

"This is the gate of the Holy One; *
     those who are righteous may enter."

I will give thanks to you, for you answered me *
     and have become my salvation.

The same stone which the builders rejected *
     has become the chief cornerstone.

This is God's doing, *
     and it is marvelous in our eyes.

On this day the Holy One has acted; *
     we will rejoice and be glad in it.

                                                Saint Helena Psalter

____________

How might you imagine this section of psalm to be represented in music?


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1 Corinthians 15:1-11


I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to
you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you
 are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you--unless
you have come to believe in vain.

For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that
Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried,
and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that
he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred
brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have
 died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one
untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit
 to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace
of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary,
I worked harder than any of them--though it was not I, but the grace of God that
 is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come
to believe.

____________

What stands out to you from this early witness to the resurrection?

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John 20:1-18


Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came
 to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and
went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to
them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have
laid him." Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The
two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb
first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did
not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw
the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus' head, not
 lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other
disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for
 as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.
Then the disciples returned to their homes.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into
 the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had
been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, "Woman,
 why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do
 not know where they have laid him." When she had said this, she turned around and
saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to
her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" Supposing him to be
 the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where
you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned
and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her,
 "Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to
 my brothers and say to them, `I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my
God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have
seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
____________

What stands out to you as a significant detail in this rich story?
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go to www.stpaulsfay.org/id137.html

On most weekdays I send a Morning Reflection  to this same list, offering a thought
about the readings from the Daily Office.

Lowell

The Rev. Lowell Grisham
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, AR

The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

Our Rule of Life:
  We aspire to...
     worship weekly
     pray daily
     learn constantly
     serve joyfully
     live generously.

Check our website: www.stpaulsfay.org

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