A Reflection for the 6th Sunday in Lent

By Sister Dolores Glick, MHSH

As our Lenten Journey continues on this Palm/Passion Sunday, we look back to the beginning of our journey—the promises and resolutions we made on Ash Wednesday (almost like our New Year’s resolutions). We promised to spend more time in prayer, entering into a deeper relationship with Jesus. That relationship would lead us to others—to feel the hurts and pain of those around us. Perhaps we promised to help others by almsgiving—sharing our gifts of plenty with a homeless shelter, a food pantry, an aging neighbor, one suffering an addiction.

journey travelHow are we doing with those promises? Have we learned that fasting is so much more than just not eating or drinking certain things? Have we thought about fasting from unkind thoughts about another person, or fasting from buying something for ourselves so that we might contribute financially to those in need?

Pope Francis designated this Lent as a time to foster mercy through the traditional corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Try one on each day and live it. Now that’s a challenge!

As Jesus walks through his passion this week, let us join him as he enters Jerusalem with loud jubilation. Let us be present with him at the last supper as he shares his very self with the disciples and with us. Let us be with him in his prayer and agony in the garden, in his cruel sufferings, and in his death on the cross. Let us be among his friends as they received his body. And let us know that all this was done for love of us.

jesus-walkingREFLECTION:

Sit with Jesus today as you would with someone you know is dying. Experience the heartache of Jesus as he leaves his mother and dearest friends and followers.

Fasting becomes a prayer when I intentionally let it draw me to change my ways so that I am more in touch with the mind and heart of Jesus.

Pope Francis calls us to “fast from ‘globalization of indifference’ and begin feasting in the ways of Jesus: nonviolence, forgiveness, solidarity, social justice and active, compassionate love for all who suffer.” We have only just begun…

 

Witnessing the Transfiguration

By Sister Martha Pavelsky, MHSH

2nd Sunday of Lent

My first thought as I glanced at the reading from Matthew for the Second Sunday of Lent was, “Who are these guys—Peter, James and John?  Such a privilege to see Jesus transfigured—what did they do to earn that?”

As I know them, they are a mixed bag at best:  John, the youngest, naïve and devoted and, in the end, made of better stuff than we may have anticipated (he stuck around at the crucifixion unlike nearly all Jesus’ other followers); James, John’s brother and another fisherman; and Peter, a hothead—emotional, vacillating, one whose mouth ran way ahead of his brain.  I guess even with God, there’s no accounting for taste.

Why did Jesus choose them as followers, and why take them to witness his transfiguration?  There are several scholarly reasons, I’m sure. What I find encouraging is what I call the “Gideon principle.” (See Judges, 7:1-25).  God can manage fine without our “skills,” though God occasionally uses us to get a job done—sometimes in spite of all our limitations, not because of our gifts.

There’s a hazard—more than one—to being in such company as the transfigured Jesus:  We can get to feeling pretty impressed, not only with what’s happening, but with ourselves.  “I must be something outstanding to have been chosen to witness this.”

In reality (and I do recall reading this observation somewhere) this trio may have been most in need of bolstering for the tough times to come, and Jesus may have seen their neediness.

Reflection:

How does being a witness to the love of God help you through hard times?

You may wish to reflect on how Jesus, knowing all your limitations, conflicting desires and faults, still desires you to accompany him.