Sunday, April 14th
Lk 19: 28-40. Mass: Is 50:4-7
Ps 22:8-9. 17-18. 19-20. 23-24
Phil 2: 6-11
Lk 22: 14 – 23: 56
“…The Lord God has opened my ear….the Lord God helps me.” Is 50:5, Is 50:7
“I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you. . .He took a cup and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it amongst yourselves.” Lk 22:14-17
“He took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them…” Lk 22: 19
I was struck by the familiarity of these scripture excerpts. How often we can hear the same words and then they can come alive for us in a new way. In the Wisdom of Isaiah, the Lord indeed opens our ears to hear anew. God comes, stands beside us and reaches out to help us. We become free again in the generosity of our Beloved. I have known this and yet it struck me this time that God’s all-encompassing compassion knows no limits. I revisited the time I lived in Japan and knew that this truth not only touched us who are united to God through Baptism, but that his inclusive love touched all people. My Japanese friends, some who were baptized but the majority who were not, were indeed part of God’s cherished ones. Just as the generosity of the beloved knows no bounds, so, too, are we invited to be boundless in our love as well. I pondered how this would make all of the times we shared food more sacred. In Japan, we would go out at night into the streets of Sanya, like the New York Bowery, and share food and drink with the homeless. It always touched me when one of the people of the street would offer food or drink to their neighbor first. Each of us probably could share a similar story from a soup kitchen or distributing food here as well. The words from the prophet give us assurance that we are never alone when we serve. God opens our senses to the needs and then accompanies us on the journey. This Lent can be a time of openness, awareness and service to all of those who need us.
God of compassion, join me in my journey to serve my sisters and brothers who lack life’s basics. Help me make generosity my daily work.
Let each day of Lent be a reaching out.
Mary Ellen Lawrence, CSJA