It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. (Luke 23.44-45)
It has been three hours since the nails were driven in and he was raised for all to see. There are three more hours to go, three more hours of agony, three more hours in which he suppresses the screams, in which he fights for breath, in which his blood flows. Three more hours for his mother to watch him, three more hours for the women to keep vigil, three more hours for John to stand in horror, three more hours for the crowds to jeer, three more hours for the solders to wait. And the universe waits, and heaven waits and we wait.
And the clock kept ticking.
A prayer of St Richard of Chichester.
Thanks be to thee, my Lord Jesus Christ.
For all the benefits which thou hast given to me,
For all the pains and insults which thou hast borne for me.
O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,
May I know thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly,
And follow thee more nearly,
Day by day.