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Tuesday prayers - 2007


March 2007

So his father went out and pleaded with him.   
But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years
I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders.
Yet you never gave me even a young goat
so I could celebrate with my friends.   
But when this son of yours who has squandered your property
with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
“ ‘My son,’ the father said,
‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.   
But we had to celebrate and be glad,
because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again;
he was lost and is found.’ ”        
(Luke 15, 1-3/11-14/17-32)

Tuesday 6th March and Saturday 10th March 2007

Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord  been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
(Isaiah 53, 1-9)


The cross is the disintegration of Jesus’ community.
Judas has sold him;
Peter has denied him
and most of his friends have run away.
All Jesus’ work to build a little community
seems to have failed.
And then,
at the darkest moment,
we see His community coming into being
at the foot of the cross.
The first member of this new community is a criminal.
That criminal is the one
who received the greatest gift:
“Today you will be with me in paradise”.

Thank you, Jesus, for spending your last breath
to welcome a criminal in your home.
Thank you for this revolution of love,
for calling me “my friend”,
even when I have denied you
and created division in my community.
With you, only with you,
I feel not judged,
not criticized,
not condemned,
but accepted and appreciated.
I feel welcomed in your home
even if I am a criminal.

And now Lord,
let me also call you “My friend”,
and accept the invitation to come to your home,
to be together for ever.
There, where you live,
I will be welcomed
by the ones I did not relate well with,
I will receive the warmest embrace
from my own enemies.
The people I did not love
will smile with me
and hold my hand.
Then, only then,
Will  I understand your love and will I cry.
In that moment my Lord,
send again the poor to console me
to wipe my tears
and intercede for me.

Let me contemplate your desire
to search for me and live together with me
even when I am rejected by others
like Zacchaeus who was considered
an enemy by everyone.
“Hurry, I want to stay at your home today”:
Before inviting me to your place in paradise
You invite yourself into my home,
into my life,
into my solitude and anguish,
to journey with me in my weakness.
Let me also welcome to my home
my brother who is distant from my heart.
my sister who I do not love,
my enemy who has offended me
my friend whom I have wounded
so that your death will not be in vain
and our journey on this earth
will have life and life in plenty.

Tuesday 27thFebruary and Saturday 3rd March 2007

Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering round to hear him.  But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered,
“This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them.”
Then Jesus told them this parable:
“There was a man who had two sons.   The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’
So he divided his property between them.
“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had,
set off for a distant country
and there squandered his wealth in wild living.   
After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.
“When he came to his senses, he said,
‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare,
and here I am starving to death!   
I will set out and go back to my father and say to him:
Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.   
I am no longer worthy to be called your son;
make me like one of your hired men.’  
So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off,
his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him;
he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father said to his servants,
‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him.
Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.   
Bring the fattened calf and kill it.
Let’s have a feast and celebrate.   
For this son of mine was dead and is alive again;
he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field.
When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.   
So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on
‘Your brother has come,’ he replied,
‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
“The older brother became angry and refused to go in.

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