12. Jesus Dies on the Cross
Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
All: Because by your holy cross You have redeemed the world.
A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke 23: 46
Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said: "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." And having said this, he breathed his last.
From the height of the cross a cry is heard a cry: a cry of abandonment at the moment of death, a cry of trust amid suffering, a cry accompanying the birth of a new life. Behold, hanging on the tree of life, you deliver your spirit into your Father’s hands, causing life to spring up in abundance and forming the new creation. Today we too face the challenges of this world: we sense the surge of fears which overwhelm us and shake our trust. Grant us, Lord, the strength to know deep within our heart that no death will conquer us, until we rest in the hands which have shaped us and accompany us.
May every one of us be able to cry out:
"Yesterday I was crucified with Christ,
today I am glorified with him.
Yesterday I died with him,
today I live with him.
Yesterday I was buried with him.
Today I have risen with him." (Gregory Nazianzen)
In the darkness of our nights,
we contemplate you.
Teach us to turn towards the Most High,
your heavenly Father.
Today, let us pray
that all those who promote abortion
may become aware that love
can only be a source of life.
Let us think also of those who defend euthanasia
and those who encourage
techniques and procedures
which endanger human life.
Open their hearts
to know you in the truth
and to work for the building
of the civilization of life and love.