(Guest blogger Margaret Felice, a gifted soprano, a choral conductor, writer, and religious educator who resides in Boston returns with her second Lenten blog offering today.)
Today’s readings begin by drenching us in light. In the reading from Isaiah we hear “I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement., and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.” Even if we know intellectually that those words are understood as prophesying Jesus, it’s hard not to hear in them the promise that we, too, can be a light.
As we recite the psalm we cry out “the Lord is my light and my salvation”, though we are never quite told what we mean when Continue reading
Today’s reflection is from parishioner Doreen Salse.
Less than one week until Good Friday. I feel as though I am sitting with a friend on death row. It’s odd that in all the Lents I have gone through – or at least those I paid attention to – that this thought hasn’t struck me before.
I think of sitting with my nose pressed against the plastic in the visitation area, if that’s how it works, trying to read every inch on the surface that dear face with all my might. Trying to capture it, etch it into my mind so that I would never in my life forget it. I would want to conjure it up at night, taking the image with me into my dreams, lock it in a place where I could keep it safe and protect it always.
When my godmother died, I wanted a memory of her that would never fade, and I asked her if she would give me her blessing. She looked at me with the most profound tenderness, and I realized she was sad for me. Not for herself, because she knew she was going, but for me because I was staying, and it would be hard for me to stay here without her.
Would you look the same way at me, Jesus? A wistful smile at my attempts to be brave in the face of losing you? Would that smile hold just a little bit of pity because even after all these years of hearing what you had to say, you know that hearing you is not the same as listening to you? Am I one of your disciples that you shook your head sadly at? If I had listened closely, I would have known that beyond the suffering, the dusty road, and the jeering just a week away, there would be a moment when the sky would open and the earth would shake with the terrible fury of the Truth. That truly, this man was the Son of God. What part of that do I not understand in my spiritual adolescence?
As I end this Lenten journey, let me look beyond what I fear are your and my final hours. Let me see only the start of your spectacular promise that you will rise again and those of us who believe in you, too, will never die.
We had our Hosannas on Sunday. With our palms we were with Jesus as he made his entry into Jerusalem.
Not exactly the mighty king that many were looking for, he entered the holy city while riding an ass; this was a most undignified way to travel. It must have been a disappointment for many, and a source of derision for those who already loathed this itinerant preacher. Yet there were many, cheering him on with their cries of “Hosanna!”
Dominus Flevit Church, Mount of Olives, Israel, photo credit: F. Rossi Szpylczyn,no unauthorized distribution.
Before he went to Jerusalem, Jesus was across the valley on the Mount of Olives. It is said that in the very spot where he looked over and foresaw the destruction of Jerusalem, he wept. This church in the above photo was built on theret. The name of the church is Dominus Flevit; it means, Jesus wept.
Destruction was inevitable, the death of Jesus had to come; he knew this, yet he carried on. The same is true for all of us.
Is death inevitable? Yes. What about new life? New life ready for us in Christ. But we must “fix our eyes” on the city of Jerusalem, with all that it entails.
One of my favorite songs for this time of year is, Jerusalem, My Destiny, by Rory Cooney. I always think that the words that send us off into Holy Week in a most particular way. They are are the words that send us to death. These are the words that send us to new life in the Risen Christ. It is our destiny and our hope – and we do not go alone.
We cannot look away, as the song tells us, we cannot turn away. Holy week is upon us; our destiny is clear, so off we go…