Sunday, February 22, 2015
“The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert.”
Jesus, this is a harsh winter.
The snow and ice keep piling up.
My body aches from the cold
and the shoveling and the times
I’ve slipped and slid.
We say you fully shared
the experience of being human,
but did you ever
have to clear six feet
of drifted snow from your door?
Did you ever feel your skin
flash freezing in -30 wind chills?
Did you ever deal with two inches of ice
encasing everything around you?
The gospels talk about people scurrying
around the countryside
as they come to see you.
No one scurries here these days,
for fear of falling on the bone-breaking
sidewalks and entry ways,
even into church.
And now, Jesus, on top of all this,
we have Lent.
I find it funny that our word “Lent”
has its roots in a word meaning spring.
Spring seems a long way off;
as a forecaster of seasons,
the liturgical calendar is as useless
as the groundhog.
Listen to me whining, Jesus.
Yes, I know that there are many people
who are living in far harsher climates,
just as many of your
people are enjoying
warm summer breezes
And I know that right here
in my own town
there are many poor and elderly
and sick persons who are
suffering much more
in this winter than I am.
And then when I stop to pray about it,
I realize how much I need this Lent,
this opportunity to prepare
to renew my baptismal discipleship
and to enter ever more deeply
into your life of sacrificial love.
How much I need this opportunity
to break out of my self-centeredness,
to take the focus off of myself and all
my struggles and problems and complaints
so that I might learn to love as you love,
and to give to others out of that love.
Lord, take me into
the Lenten wilderness with you.
Be with me as I wrestle
with all the forces in my life
that want to pull me away from you.
Help me to face honestly
“all the wild beasts” of my life,
all the pains and struggles
and insecurities and fears and greeds
and angers and grudges and all their kin.
Send your angels to minister to me
as they minister to you.
Raise up hope and courage in my heart.
And this Lent,
Help me to remember that you do know
what it is like to deal with a blizzard,
because you live in me and I in you.
And just as you venture out into the cold with me,
let me emerge out of the wilderness with you,
so that I may join you always
in proclaiming, in word and deed,
the coming of the kingdom of God.
Fr. Richard Lamoureux, AA