After a sweet glimpse of spring, Mother Nature brought us back to the reality of winter. How appropriate as we begin our Lenten journey to Jerusalem, to Calvary, and at last to the empty tomb of Resurrection Hope.
This weekend and through Wednesday, our parish is privileged to have Fr. James Neilson, O. Praem as our mission guide. He will use his gift as an artist, along with his intense faith and his commitment to experiencing the love and mercy of God in life and art. Each evening will be a journey through St. Pope John Paul II’s scriptural Stations of the Cross – different stations each night beginning with 1-5. Come every night if you can. You will want to!
The Stations of the Cross take us on a journey of just a few hours but really a lifetime. Parishioners who have travelled to the Holy Land often find the “tour” of the stations heart changing. Groups are invited to carry a large cross as the guide stops at places in Old Jerusalem marked with the numbered station. In the midst of the day to day business, the travelers are confronted and torn by Christ’s ultimate sacrifice and the temptations of everyday life. But perhaps as we travel the stations during our mission, we will see how God is right there in the midst of our temptations offering wisdom, compassion and mercy as God did to Eve and Adam. Imagine our eyes being opened by God to the people in our own communities and world falsely accused, mocked, tortured and abandoned or ignored as though invisible.
We are on a mission this Lent – to journey into the heart of God’s compassion and mercy for us. Psalm 51 prayed today between our readings might be where we can focus our attention. Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness, in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. Sr. Diane Bergant, scripture scholar, shares that Mercy and Compassion are names for God. Mercy from the Hebrew word “hesed” means we can do nothing to make God stop loving us. Compassion is from the Hebrew word for “womb” the most intimate and attentive relationship – womb love.
How can we not be humbled and grateful as we stumble on our journey this Lent. "Let no one walk alone; the journey makes us one."