A Reading from the Book of Psalms 22:8,12
All who see me deride me. They curl their lips, they toss their heads. Do not leave me alone in my distress; come close, there is none else to help.
Jesus is alone under the interior and exterior weight of the Cross. In this fall, the weight of evil becomes too great and there seems no longer to be any limit to injustice and violence.
But he rises once more, strong in the infinite trust that he places in his Father. Before the men who abandon him to his lot, the power of the Spirit raises him up; it unites him fully to the Father’s will, that of love which can do all things.
Lord Jesus, in your second fall,
we recognize so many of our situations
from which there seems to be no way of escape.
Among them are those that derive from prejudice and hatred,
which harden our hearts
and lead to religious conflicts.
Enlighten our minds
so that they recognize,
despite “human and religious differences,”
that “a ray of truth
shines on all men and women”,
called to walk together
– with respect for religious freedom –
towards the truth that is in God alone.
Thus, the different religions can
“join one another in service to the common good
and contribute to the development of each person
and the building of society” (Ecclesia in Medio Oriente, 27-28).
Come, Holy Spirit,
to console and strengthen Christians,
especially those from the Middle East,
so that, united in Christ,
they may be witnesses of your universal love
in an area torn apart by injustice and conflicts