In following the daily Mass readings over the past few weeks, we hear the Lenten theme of repentance and return to God revealed through the words of the prophets, including Jonah, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. In following events happening in every corner of planet Earth over this same time, the prophetic cry reverberates through my heart and soul with a new intensity. We sure are in dire need of repentance and a wholehearted return to God!
This post is not a judgment on any person or group of people. I feel strongly compelled to share the ponderings of my own heart. May these words be received as one woman’s personal reflection, and to some degree, confession.
Our global culture has moved about as far away from God and His design as we can get. The majority of mankind has rejected God’s Will in favor of our own will. We have clearly rejected God’s design for our human sexuality and we misuse, violate, distort and twist our sexuality in many ways. Vast numbers of our brothers and sisters seek out occult activities to gain knowledge, control or security and thereby place their trust in false gods.
How grieved our Lord must be! How pained He must be as daily we live lives that keep us caught in anxiety and fear, hopelessness and despair, self-harming behaviors or violence against others. Our Lord knows well that the happiness we all seek is found only in Him. Lasting interior peace will never be ours while we resist cooperation with His perfect plan.
What a beautiful opportunity we have this Triduum.
As our “global fast” continues, I find myself longing to be fed more and more through prayer and God’s Word. I’ve been particularly encouraged by the old testament stories we’ve heard through the Mass readings lately; stories of brave, faith-filled men and women who held firmly to the Lord in the face of disaster, persecution, even death (see the story of Susanna in Daniel Chapter 13, the story of ‘Rack, Shack, & Benny’ in Daniel Chapter 3).
In this strange and unprecedented time, the messages in these scriptures are so relevant and worthy of our reflection:
He calls us to exercise bold trust in Him, perhaps by speaking of His love to others and by never renouncing Him or our faith in the face of persecution. Individuals with unshakeable faith in our Lord, boldly trusting Him in the midst of difficult circumstances have oft been used to convert entire nations!
Pray for Mercy
Praying for God’s Mercy moves His heart. How often do we read in the scriptures, “the Lord took pity on them…” “God had mercy on him / her / them…” In the case of the Ninevites, the scriptures tell us that God, “repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.” Wow. How about we pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet Novena together, which begins on Good Friday and ends on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 19th. You can find the novena prayers here.
Be a Friend to Jesus
How beautiful the imagery of our Lord being consoled on His walk to Calvary, first by his own Mother, then Veronica, then the women and children of Jerusalem. These women showed up for Him, were not afraid to look upon His agony and offer their love, tears, presence. I want to do the same for Him. During these next few days as we solemnly remember His passion, perhaps we can each offer words of reparation for the very many people who will not even give Jesus a thought or a moment of their time. “Jesus, I love you, I trust You, I hope in You. And I make reparation for those who do not love you, do not trust You and do not hope in You.”
Most of all, let us hear the clear reminder that the Lord is ever near, even in the blackest darkness. We have nothing to fear. His Light penetrates every bit of darkness we could ever experience and He has promised to always be with us. There may be moments when we do not perceive Him, or we feel abandoned or alone. But not in any one of those moments has He actually left us. No, it is we who have left Him by turning our gaze, our focus elsewhere. He is right there, ready and waiting for us to turn our eyes back onto Him. And the moment we do, peace returns.
A Closing Prayer
Jesus, help me never lose sight of You. Give me eyes to see You, even in this darkness of uncertainty and isolation. I believe that You are always with me Lord, and I desire to always be with You. Help me stay by Your side as we journey through this Triduum together. I will help carry Your cross through my prayers and fasting, repentance and reparation. Take my offering and have mercy on me, my family, my country and on the whole world. Thank You and praise You Jesus, now and forever, Amen.