Jesus on the Cross . . . still
Your hands nailed to the cross
are the hands of every person who labors continuously to serve the needs of the poor and vulnerable;
the hands that are calloused and rough from hard work meeting the needs of others: farmers, first responders, disaster relief workers, humanitarian aid workers, construction workers;
the hands of all who create beauty through the arts and who write words to inspire hearts;
the hands of all who sacrifice themselves for the good of others.
Your arms stretched out on the cross
are the arms of those who reach out to welcome the stranger, the refugee and immigrant, the lost and forsaken;
the arms that wrap around and hold those who are grieving and distressed;
the arms that cradle an infant, lovingly hold a child, and embrace an elderly one.
Your feet nailed to the cross
are the feet of those who walk thousands of miles to escape war and violence, famine and poverty, and long for a new life of peace and productivity;
the feet of those who walk many miles every day to access clean water to drink and bathe;
the feet of those who run to meet the needs of others;
the feet of those who walk in the path of your peace, mercy, and charity.
Your head pierced with thorns
is the head of those who suffer with mental illness, anxiety, depression;
the head of those who are confused by memory loss, dementia, the decreasing ability to reason and process thoughts;
the head of those who suffer from headaches and cancers and ailments of the brain.
Your lashed and bleeding back
is the back of all who carry heavy burdens, who are weighed down by fear and worry;
the back of all those who suffer violence, beatings, persecutions;
the back of those who bend to meet the needs of and care for others who cannot care for themselves: the elderly, the very young, the infirmed sick and injured, those who are incapacitated from disabilities.
Your bloodied, dirtied, and tear-streaked face
is the face of those who have been slapped, spit upon, and beaten;
the face of those who are ridiculed, bullied, and demeaned;
the face of those who weep from loss, pain and suffering, and the agonies of life;
the face of those who weep out of love for others, who show deep compassion for those who suffer.
Jesus, your bruised and bloodied body on the cross still suffers today.
You continue to experience pain, anguish, beatings, and sorrow.
Yet you also continue to love deeply,
reach your arms out to those in need,
use your hands to touch others with generous service,
walk and run to those who need your help,
look with your gazing, love-filled eyes on all who are poor and rich, vulnerable and strong, unable and able, sick and healthy.
may my hands be yours,
my arms be yours,
my feet be yours,
my eyes be yours,
my ears be yours,
my mind be yours,
my heart be yours.