Prayers for Reflecting on Christ's Passion

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These prayers were developed to be used as a part of a larger process to prepare youth for seeing Mel Gibson's movieThe Passion of the Christ. However, they would be appropriate for prayer on Good Friday or for meditating on Christ's crucifixion.

Before the Movie:

Loving God,

You sent your only Son to show us the way. As we recall and meditate on his crucifixion, help us to recognize the gift you place before us. On the cross Christ washed clean our sins and invited us fully into your salvation and grace. Open our eyes to the truth of Christ so that in every moment we encounter him we will have the insight of the centurion who stood at the foot of the cross and be able to say, "Truly this man was God's Son!" (Mark 15:39, NRSV). Help us to see not only the suffering that Christ undertook on the cross but also the ministry of his life and the glory of his Resurrection. For just as his death opened the door to eternal life for us, his life and Resurrection show us the way.

After the Movie:

As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you." (Mark 16:5-7, NRSV)

Lord Jesus,

We remember the sacrifice you made for us on the cross so that we might have eternal life. In taking on the mantle of humanity and through your suffering and death you have opened the door for our eternal salvation. Guide each step we take as we carry our own crosses. Open our eyes, also, to the truth that your story did not end on the cross. Just as you conquered death and came back to show us the way, help us conquer the sins and temptations we encounter as we enter into the new life you offer us.

acknowledgments

(Copyright © 2004 by Saint Mary's Press. Permission is granted for the free use of this article for classroom or campus ministry purposes; however, it may not be republished in any form without the written permission of Saint Mary's Press. For more resources to support your ministry, call 800-533-8095, or visit our Web site at www.smp.org.)

Published February 18, 2004.