Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday of the Third Week
When I look forward to the weeks of Lent, I am grateful for the time it allows me to fast –to slow my steps so that I may walk more carefully in the path that Jesus showed us.  As I fast, each time I desire that which I have given up is an opportunity for prayer – a time to come back to God, like a Buddhist monk who pauses at the chime of a bell.  And yet, what are these pauses all about?  The readings today remind me that Lent is an opportunity to renew my relationship with God.  Sometimes, in the midst of a busy week, I find that I am neglecting this beautiful relationship that is always there for me to commune with.  I know that God loves me – that God will always love me.  But, do I always love God back?  Do I nurture that love so that it will grow, so that I will grow and flourish? St. Ireneaus said, “The glory of God is a human being fully alive.”  I am dumbfounded and humbled by that truth –that the glory of God is for all beings to be nurtured and thriving!  As the readings tells us today, God “will be like dew [and God’s people] will blossom like the lily …they shall blossom like the vine, and His fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.”  

These readings remind me that in order to fully let the love of God nurture my life, I need to be open to this Love.  Over and again in the psalm, God only asks us to “hear His voice.”  To listen sometimes seems like such a passive act, and I know that as a person that likes to check things off my list and feel accomplished, this passive act is a thing I need to practice.  I need to allow myself the quiet to be open to God’s voice in my life; like any fruit or blossom, I cannot just hope that I will ripen; I need to place myself in the sun receiving all the love that God offers us.  And yet, a deep relationship with God is not only about receiving but giving this love.  The Gospel calls us to remember Jesus’ words: “Love your God ….[and] love your neighbor as yourself.”  Again, I am humbled by the path that Jesus showed us — that more than any ritual, prayer, or offering, letting ourselves be loved and loving one another are the two most important truths. 
Holy Spirit, fill me with the grace of Your Love.  Guide me to turn a grateful ear to Your voice, to pause long enough to hear it.   Grant me the peace of heart to give that Love to those I meet, so that I may be part of the flow of Your Grace and Mystery in the world.
Erin Bodin, ‘06, Assistant Director of M.O.V.E.

First Reading: Hosea 14:2-10
Psalm 81:6c-11b, 14, 17
Gospel: Mark 12:28-34

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website


Anna said...

I love that you used the quote from Ireneaus...beautiful! :) And your desire to pause and listen reminds me of "Seven Sacred Pauses: Living Mindfully Through the Hours of the Day" by Macrina Wiederkehr where she says, "Perhaps most of all, I have learned that way down underneath all the busyness, something (or is it Someone?) waits for us to come home to who we truly are. All it takes is a simple pause to get us in touch with the One who keeps vigil with us - the holy presence of so many names...perhaps it is your true self. Or, maybe it is one of the virtues wanting to make its full presence known in your life. It may be the Divine Beloved. Remember to pause so taht you may be able to connect to that which keeps vigil in your heart."

Anna said...

Another quote from Macrina that connects with your reflection: "For Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - all Abrahamic religions - bells, chimes, or tonal sounds are important for calling people to prayer. For all these religions, the call to prayer is announced at specific hours. Special hours of the day are honored. For Islam, the five daily riturals of prayer (salat) are pre-dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset and night. The three times of gathering for prayer in Judaism are morning, afternoon and night...when the early Christians began to detach temselves from Judaism, they kept the practice of praying at fixed times of the day. As monastic communities began to form, other hours of the day were eventually added to the monastic day." What an amazing connection across these three religions. Honoring the parts of the day and creating sacred pauses is part of a long and beautiful tradition for many, many people.