A Lenten Renewal:
Reflections on the Mass readings in light of our daily lives
By Mother Marie Julie, SCMC
My Dear Good People,
Today we hear an incredibly graphic prophecy of the Passion and death of Jesus, from Jesus Himself (Mt 20:17-28). Imagine how the disciples might have felt when they heard Him whom they had come to love far beyond the bonds of friendship say He would be handed over (which meant betrayed)… condemned… mocked…scourged and crucified. But even though Jesus tried to tell the disciples that He was going to be killed, they scarcely heard that part. Instead, there was jockeying for position among them, and hard feelings because of it. In this story there seems to be little concern among the disciples about Jesus’ dire predictions. If He was appealing to them for some comfort or understanding, it didn’t happen in this Gospel.
How sad. Sometimes people are so caught up in their own questions that they just can’t see the pain in another person’s heart. It’s happened to us: someone we’ve known for a long time one day opens up and tells us about a terrible hurt in his life, but has never told anyone else about it. We start to think about how long that burden has been carried, alone, and we think, I should have seen this long ago but I never noticed.
I see it in the prayer cards we receive every day from people like you who send us their intentions: I haven’t heard from my daughter for eight years; I just received a diagnosis of bone cancer; our son took his own life last month; my wife left me after nineteen years. And who knew?
Someone once said, A joy shared is doubled. A sorrow shared is halved. I hope that today some lost or lonely or hurting soul will experience a bit of comfort or understanding from me. Surely those sorrows, losses and heartbreaks are felt in the soul of Jesus. So should they be felt in mine. How can I help another to bear a hidden loneliness today?
Here’s a good prayer to tuck into the deepest part of our emotional reservoir:
I don’t want anyone to suffer alone. Help me know the secret hurts in others,
even if only through Your compassion.
Lord, let what breaks Your Heart break mine.
God bless your Lenten Wednesday.