Word Magazine March 1971 Page 3
by: METROPOLITAN PHILIP
LORD, I am talking to you between airports, between flights, in the midst of rushing crowds and noisy engines. Please forgive me if my words are vain and empty.
The last time I talked to you, you were in a lonely manger. As I stared at you, I saw the wounds in your tiny hands, the spear in your tender side and the crown of thorns on your bleeding head.
You have been slain for my sake since the foundation of the world.
LORD, Every time I gaze at your Crucifix I tremble with fear and ask myself, “Why did you love me so much?” I should be hanging there in your stead. I rebelled against you in paradise. I murdered my brother in the field. I betrayed you in Gethsemane. And when they crucified you I was the leader of the gang.
LORD, Why do you love me so much? I do not deserve one drop of your sweat, one drop of your tears, and one drop of your blood. Why did you wash my filthy feet? Why did you share your body and blood with my unworthy lips?
LORD, Why did you weep over my Jerusalem? The streets of the city which you loved are still stained with your innocent blood and the tears of your little friends in Jerusalem have become rivers of suffering and agony. Your little friends in your land, Lord, are drinking their Mother’s tears and eating their Mother’s flesh but no one cares.
LORD, You called me “friend” but at the night of your trial I cursed, I swore, and I said, “I know not that man.” Instead of water I gave you vinegar and when that heavy cross was crushing your shoulders I did not lift a finger to help you.
LORD, You had reached the abyss of agony and despair when you cried with a mighty voice, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” This was your last cry in this world before you gave up the ghost, and it fell on deaf ears. After that you died. “And there was darkness all over the land.”
LORD, Beyond the innocence of Bethlehem, the tears of Gethsemane, and the agony of Calvary, there is the joy of the new wine, and the brightness of the new dawn, the hope of the new creation and the eternal reality of the empty tomb.
“Oh Death! where is thy sting?”
“O Hell! where is thy victory?”
LORD, Let the immortal light of your Pascha penetrate the thickness of our dark nights. Roll away the heavy stone from the doors of our sepulchre. Liberate us by your Divine Freedom. Wash away all our iniquities, “O Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world”