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Worshippers venerate a crucifix during the Good Friday liturgy March 25 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles. (CNS photo/Victor Aleman, Vida Nueva)

April 19/Good Friday

Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O faithful God. ~ Ps 31:5

To put our bodies into the skilled hands of a surgeon or a physical therapist is an act of trust and an admission that we do not possess the knowledge, the experience, the power to heal ourselves on our own. And yet many of us lack the same trusting attitude when it comes to our souls. We hold fast to our autonomy, insisting that we can manage our affairs on our own. Sooner or later, however, we will probably hit the wall with our souls as we sometimes do with our bodies. When loss is staring us in the face, when the soul’s pain makes it hard to get out of bed, when our carefully crafted life plan goes awry, then and only then, perhaps, do we say, “Into your hand, O Lord, I commit my spirit.”

But wait a moment. What if we didn’t wait until the last moment to trust the Lord? What if, instead, we placed ourselves into his loving hands at the start of every day? We might find the quiet peace of genuine trust if we surrendered our willfulness early and often, rather than as a last resort. As the 20th-century English Dominican priest Father Bede Jarrett wrote, “[God’s] hands are strong and powerful hands and we can confidently rest there... But with God, they are not only the hands of power, and not only the hands of wisdom, but of love, and it is only when we leave all things in his hands that we find complete serenity; and then a great peace shall come into our souls.”

As I place myself in your hands this day, O powerful and loving Lord, I pray that your will, and not mine, be done.Amen.

For today’s readings, click here.

To hear the King’s Singers sing “In manus tuas” by Thomas Tallis, click here.

More: Lent / Prayer
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