May 7, 2019
by Molly Mattingly
Creighton University's Campus Ministry and St. John's Parish
click here for photo and information about the writer

Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter
Lectionary: 274

Acts 7:51--8:1A
Psalms 31:CD-4, 6 and 7B and 8A, 17 and 21AB
John 6:30-35

Daily Easter Prayer

Celebrating Easter Home

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled

Easter Joy in Everyday Life

There is a particular setting of Psalm 31 that I love to sing for the Good Friday Celebration of the Lord’s Passion:(start at 14:30). It was composed by Rev. Chrysogonus Waddell, OCSO, of Gethsemane Abbey in Kentucky, a confrere of Thomas Merton. He set the words very simply, for an a cappella soloist and three-part choir on the refrain. At St. John’s I have the cello play a pedal tone to keep us all in tune. The half-steps Chrysogonus incorporates into the verses make for a haunting melody, bleak but expressive. Every verse ends with an increasingly ornamented keening cry of “Êlî, Eli, lāmâ lăzabhthānî?”

In today’s first reading, St. Stephen invites us back to that Good Friday moment. He expresses the same trust in the face of death that Jesus expressed on the cross. But, instead of asking God the Father to receive his spirit, he asks Jesus to receive it. Stephen, the first martyr, points to Christ in every moment of his life, even the darkest moment. He trusts God-with-us, and invites us to that trust as well.

Rev. Chrysogonus composed another piece that I love to use during Easter, and for funerals. “Jesus Lives” was the last piece he composed before his own death. May we, like the saints, “go where he is gone; rest and reign with him in heaven. Alleluia!”

Jesus lives; thy terrors now can, O death, no more appall us.
Jesus lives; by this we know thou, O death, cannot enthrall us. Alleluia!
Jesus lives; henceforth is death but the gate to life immortal.
This shall calm our trembling breath when we pass its gloomy portal. Alleluia!
Jesus lives; our hearts know well naught from us his love shall sever.
Life, nor death, nor powers of hell tear us from his keeping ever. Alleluia!
Jesus lives; to him the throne over all the world is given.
May we go where he is gone; rest and reign with him in heaven. Alleluia!

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