Holy Week – Lent 2019
By: Jeanne Connolly, Director of Charism and Mission
Pack Nothing. Bring only your determination to serve and your willingness to be free. Do not hesitate to leave your old ways behind — fear, silence, submission.
Only surrender to the need of the time — to love justice and walk humbly with your God.
As we begin this Holy Week, it seems appropriate to double check our baggage, as well as the state of our heart. Alla Renée Bozarth’s beautiful poem Passover Remembered ¨offers gentle guidance for the journey. Most importantly, she reminds us that we are not alone, God is always with us.
Set out in the dark. I will send fire to warm and encourage you. I will be with you in the fire and I will be with you in the cloud. The stories you tell one another around your fires in the dark will make you strong and wise.
Living the way of love is not easy. We are reminded of this as we read the Passion of Christ. Can you imagine the disappointment that Jesus must have felt when he discovered his friends sleeping, experienced their betrayal and denial? Our call as disciples is to be faithful despite our fear, frustration, and fatigue.
Outsiders will attack you, and some who follow you, and at times you will weary and turn on each other from fear and fatigue and blind forgetfulness. Those who fight you will teach you. Those who fear you will strengthen you. Those who follow you may forget you. Only be faithful. This alone matters.
God has called each of us by name to be instruments of peace and hope in our world. We are called to be role models and guides. We are not the first and we won’t be the last. How are we remembering, serving, and loving, so that others might know God’s extravagant love?
Continue to call each other by the names I’ve given you, to help remember who you are. You will get where you are going by remembering who you are…. you will be only the first of many waves of deliverance on these desert seas.
Any of us who have traveled know that a journey takes preparation. Even frequent flyers need to know what is in their bag. So, let’s take another look into our bag. Is it packed with courage, compassion, collaboration, integrity, and respect? Is there a little more blame, judgment, mistrust, and anger that could be removed? Have we made sure we have an open heart, an open mind, and a commitment for on-going transformation?
Journeys are challenging and exciting, frightening and enlightening; let’s not let fear or comfort keep us from this journey of love.
It is the first of many beginnings— your Paschaltide. Remain true to this mystery.
Do not go back. I am with you now and I am waiting for you.
What remains in my bag that I need to let go of, so that I am free to live the way of love?
“To read the full version of Alla Renée Bozarth’s poem Passover Remembered, go to https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/passover-remembered/