Order of Friars Minor Franciscans of Canada

Lent: The Season of Love – Openness and Gratitude

Lent: The Season of Love – Openness and Gratitude

 

This past week I have been praying with the Gospel story about Lazarus, his death and Jesus restoring his life. The Gospel of John (11.1-45) paints a telling story about relationship, about pain, about openness and about gratitude. There is so much to ponder and reflect on in this gospel, however two lines jumped out at me and have challenged me in this Lenten Season of Love.


The first is after Jesus has met with Martha and Mary, he is greatly disturbed by their sorrow and he says, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, Lord, come and see.” There it is, four simple words that have been shaping the Lenten journey.


Lord, come and see.
Come and see my living
Come and see my hurting
Come and see my sorrows.

Lord, come and see.
Come and see my family
Come and see my friends
Come and see my community.

Lord, come and see.
Come and see my comings and goings
Come and see my tomb I make
Come and see my darkness.

Lord, come and see.
Come and see my desires.
Come and see my hopes.
Come and see my faith.

Lord, come and see.
Come and see my joys.
Come and see my ponderings.
Come and see my loving.

Lord, come and see.
Come and see me so I may
Come and see you.
Come and see Lord.

 

These four words are an invitation to openness. The Lord calls us to life and this means opening our lives to him and inviting him into the good, the bad, the ugly, the hurting, the joys, the life-stealing and the life-giving. These four words are a call for us to trust in God’s deep love for and God’s desire for our life. It is in this that we must continually be open to Jesus and the working of his spirit. This is true openness that brings us forth from the tombs we create and hide in. This is true openness which allows us to say “Lord, come and see! Come and see it all.., here is my life.”

From openness I move to gratitude. Gratitude is good for all seasons of life and in all situations, I find it especially poignant when embraced in Lent – the Season of Love. A few lines further in this same gospel Jesus reminds us of this. “And Jesus looked upward and said, Father, I thank you for having heard me.”” Again four simple words that have heightened my awareness for the gift of gratitude.

 

Father, I thank you for:
the life that you have created
the way you walk with me
the good people who stay with me
the gift of being called from the tombs over and over.

Father, I thank you for:
the insights and wisdom that openness can bring
the quiet moments when you speak to me
the vibrant moments when you remind me of your generosity
the holiness in which I am created and called to.

Father, I thank you for:
the strength that arises in times of sorrow
the deep faith which draws me to you
the beauty of creation which shows your love
the hope in which I am rooted in.

Father, I thank you for:
the courage to say, “I believe”
the ways in which you unbind me
the freedoms I have and discover
the variety of ways you call me forth.

Father, I thank you for:
the tears which express my pain and sorrow
the smiles which tells of my delights and joys
the comfort and support of those who love me
the telling of our never-ending story.

Father, I thank you for:
the life of your Son Jesus
the sharing of his Spirit
the communion to which I and all people are called.
having heard me today and always. Amen.

 

Openness and Gratitude, cornerstones in this deep part of the Lenten Season of Love.

Where are they in our journey this week?

 

PS.
In the icon above… note the facial express of Jesus and Lazarus… can you see their bond of friendship and love? Can you see the joy in them? Can you see the greater hope to which this foretells? Can you see yourself?