"I am wearied with all my crying as I await my God." Psalm 69 I am consumed with zeal for your house I am wearied with all my crying as I await my God. Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I am stuck in bottomless mud; I am adrift in deep waters and the flood is sweeping me away. I am exhausted with crying out, my throat is parched, my eyes are failing as I look out for my God. Those who hate me for no reason are more than the hairs of my head. They are strong, my persecutors, my lying enemies: they make me give back things I never took. God, you know my weakness: my crimes are not hidden from you. Let my fate not put to shame those who trust in you, Lord, Lord of hosts. Let them not be dismayed on my account, those who seek you, God of Israel. For it is for your sake that I am taunted and covered in confusion: I have become a stranger to my own brothers, a wanderer in the eyes of my mother’s children – because zeal for your house is consuming me, and the taunts of those who hate you fall upon my head. I have humbled my soul with fasting and they reproach me for it. I have made sackcloth my clothing and they make me a byword. The idlers at the gates speak against me; for drinkers of wine, I am the butt of their songs. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. For food they gave me poison, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. Psalm 69 But I turn my prayer to you, Lord, at the acceptable time, my God. In your great kindness, hear me, and rescue me with your faithful help. Tear me from the mire, before I become stuck; tear me from those who hate me; tear me from the depths of the waters. Do not let the waves overwhelm me; do not let the deep waters swallow me; do not let the well’s mouth engulf me. Hear me, Lord, for you are kind and good. In your abundant mercy, look upon me. Do not turn your face from your servant: I am suffering, so hurry to answer me. Come to my soul and deliver it, rescue me from my enemies’ attacks. You know how I am taunted and ashamed; how I am thrown into confusion. You can see all those who are troubling me. Reproach has shattered my heart – I am sick. I looked for sympathy, but none came; I looked for a consoler but did not find one. They gave me bitterness to eat; when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. For food they gave me poison, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. Psalm 69 Seek the Lord, and he will give life to your soul. I am weak and I suffer, but your help, O God, will sustain me. I will praise the name of God in song and proclaim his greatness with praises. This will please the Lord more than oxen, than cattle with their horns and hooves. Let the humble see and rejoice. Seek the Lord, and your heart shall live, for the Lord has heard the needy and has not despised his captive people. Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and all that swims in them. For the Lord will make Zion safe and build up the cities of Judah: there they will live, the land will be theirs. The seed of his servants will inherit the land, and those who love his name will dwell there. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Seek the Lord, and he will give life to your soul. When I am lifted up from the earth – I shall draw all things to myself. From St Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 4:14-5:10 Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme high priest who has gone through to the highest heaven, we must never let go of the faith that we have professed. For it is not as if we had a high priest who was incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us; but we have one who has been tempted in every way that we are, though he is without sin. Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help. Every high priest has been taken out of mankind and is appointed to act for men in their relations with God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins; and so he can sympathise with those who are ignorant or uncertain because he too lives in the limitations of weakness. That is why he has to make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. No one takes this honour on himself, but each one is called by God, as Aaron was. Nor did Christ give himself the glory of becoming high priest, but he had it from the one who said to him: You are my son, today I have become your father, and in another text: You are a priest of the order of Melchizedek, and for ever. During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. Although he was Son, he learnt to obey through suffering; but having been made perfect, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation and was acclaimed by God with the title of high priest of the order of Melchizedek. ℟. Although he was the son of God, Christ learnt to obey through suffering,* and he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation. ℣. During his life on earth, he offered up prayer aloud, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard,* and he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation. A homily by Saint Melito of Sardis, bishop The Lamb that was slain has delivered us from death and given us life There was much proclaimed by the prophets about the mystery of the Passover: that mystery is Christ, and to him be glory for ever and ever. Amen. For the sake of suffering humanity he came down from heaven to earth, clothed himself in that humanity in the Virgin’s womb, and was born a man. Having then a body capable of suffering, he took the pain of fallen man upon himself; he triumphed over the diseases of soul and body that were its cause, and by his Spirit, which was incapable of dying, he dealt man’s destroyer, death, a fatal blow. He was led forth like a lamb; he was slaughtered like a sheep. He ransomed us from our servitude to the world, as he had ransomed Israel from the hand of Egypt; he freed us from our slavery to the devil, as he had freed Israel from the hand of Pharaoh. He sealed our souls with his own Spirit, and the members of our body with his own blood. He is the One who covered death with shame and cast the devil into mourning, as Moses cast Pharaoh into mourning. He is the One who smote sin and robbed iniquity of offspring, as Moses robbed the Egyptians of their offspring. He is the One who brought us out of slavery into freedom, out of darkness into light, out of death into life, out of tyranny into an eternal kingdom; who made us a new priesthood, a people chosen to be his own for ever. He is the Passover that is our salvation. It is he who endured every kind of suffering in all those who foreshadowed him. In Abel he was slain, in Isaac bound, in Jacob exiled, in Joseph sold, in Moses exposed to die. He was sacrificed in the Passover lamb, persecuted in David, dishonored in the prophets. It is he who was made man of the Virgin, he who was hung on the tree; it is he who was buried in the earth, raised from the dead, and taken up to the heights of heaven. He is the mute lamb, the slain lamb, the lamb born of Mary, the fair ewe. He was seized from the flock, dragged off to be slaughtered, sacrificed in the evening, and buried at night. On the tree no bone of his was broken; in the earth his body knew no decay. He is the One who rose from the dead, and who raised man from the depths of the tomb. ℟. All men have sinned and are far away from God’s saving presence, but by the free gift of God’s grace they are all redeemed through Christ Jesus, who sets them free.* God offered him so that by his death he should become the means by which men’s sins are forgiven, through their faith in Him. ℣. Look, there is the Lamb of God: it is he who takes away the sin of the world.* God offered him so that by his death he should become the means by which men’s sins are forgiven, through their faith in Him. Let us pray. Love of you with our whole heart, Lord God, is holiness. Increase, then, your gifts of divine grace in us, so that, as in your Son’s death, you made us hope for what we believe, you may likewise, in his resurrection, make us come to you, our final end. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God for ever and ever. Let us praise the Lord. – Thanks be to God. I wish you a Blessed Holy Week - Rev. Fr. L. Stephen Galambos, o.f.m.