Holy Week Homily of St. Ephrem: Our Lord was Stripped that We Might be Clothed

April 8, 2009

Our Lord subjected his might, and they seized him,
so that through his living death he might give life to Adam.
He gave his hands to be pierced by nails
to make up for the hand which plucked the fruit.
He was struck on his cheek in the judgment room
to make up for the mouth that ate in Eden.
And while Adam’s foot was free, his feet were pierced.
Our Lord was stripped that we might be clothed.
With the gall and vinegar he sweetened
the poison of the serpent which had bitten men.

–St. Ephrem (A Syrian deacon who wrote around 360 A.D.)

from the Crossroads Initiative

John 12:35-36 and Philippians 4:1-4

April 8, 2009

Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them. (John 12:35-36)
      Jesus, you are the light of the world; help us today to walk by your light. Lord, so many around us stumble in darkness and defeat, help us share the light of the gospel with them. Help us believe in you and put our whole trust and confidence in you and your purposes. Lord Jesus, so much of the leadership of the Episcopal Church is walking in darkness; have mercy on us and raise up bishops, priests and deacons who know you and walk by your light. Please give discernment to the Commission on Ministry and the Standing Committee as they review the candidates for holy orders. Thank you.

Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved. (Philippians 4:1)
      Holy Spirit, please help all of us in our parish to truly be brothers and sisters in Jesus, and having done all, to stand firm in him as his beloved.

I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. (Philippians 4:2)
      Father, help us all to come to a quiet, common mind in Jesus.

And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life. (Philippians 4:3)
      Holy Spirit, raise up vocations to the Daughters of the King and the Sisters of St. Mary. Bless all those who minister the gospel with your guidance in this diocese. Thank you.

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)
      Jesus, please help us find our joy in you where true joy is to be found. Thank you.

      A word received: Return to me, my people. Return to me, my arms are open wide to receive you. Return to me — put away every false god. Return to me and find rest for your souls.

Wednesday: 55; Jeremiah 17:5-10, 14-17; Philippians 4:1-13; John 12:27-36
Maundy Thursday: 102; Jeremiah 20:7-11; 1 Corinthians 10:14-17; 11:27-32; John 17:1-11(12-26)

Albany Intercessor

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