Reflection for Monday, April 4, 2011: 4th week in Lent.
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Howard, Joan Blandin
As I sit in my warm, safe and very comfortable little snug I am in awe of the glory and wonder of the dawn. Beyond the deep blue-black there is a whitish gray pushing through. Seemingly unaware of the magnitude of the happening, a chorus of chirping birds heralds the creator's washing of pinks, purples and oranges across the horizon. In the silence beyond, comes a new creation.||I wonder what the dawn was like for the Japanese people the day after the devastating destruction of the tsunami.|In today's readings Isaiah enthusiastically proclaims the creation of a new and wondrous Jerusalem. Jerusalem, a time of joy and delight where "no more shall the sound of weeping be heard ... or the cry of distress."||John's gospel in general is full of questions. In confusion the people ask "Who are you?" Who is this man Jesus? They are looking for signs, answers to their bewilderment. They want not one, but continuing signs so they will know that Jesus is of Yahweh. They want to know beyond doubt. They want answers. They want to be in control. Most of all they do not want to live in mystery.||Today's readings are a challenge. In so many other encounters Jesus turns toward and touches the hurting one. Jesus listens, consoles and even weeps for and with the other. In this reading we don't hear this. Jesus seems almost flippant and possibly discouraged. "Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe ... Go - your son will live."|Hebrew scripture and New Testament scripture can at times seem contradictory, not so. Scripture is testament to ever Presences, abiding Solidarity and constant Compassion. Jesus is the new Jerusalem. Jesus is the new time. We are invited and expected to be part of the kingdom coming. We join Jesus in cradling the " ... weeping ... the cries of distress". We are the continuing sign of Yahweh, of God with us. We are the living body of Christ.|I read the newspapers; I hear and watch in disbelief the tragic happenings. I can't begin to understand or imagine the horror of it all. To lose all - my loving spouse, my cherished children, my faithful friends, even the one who for years has been the thorn in my side. I can only begin to imagine the numbness that would engulf my mind, my body and my spirit.|Gradually the whitish gray pushes through the deep blue-black and I see signs. I see God's heart, hands, arms and legs at work. I am gazing upon the living Body of Christ.|I see the old man comforting the cold, scared, lonely and newly orphaned child. The little girl and her dog curled up together offering mutual warmth, comfort and presence. I see the dazed and confused standing in prayerful pose. Pray? Would I have an inkling that in this moment I am prayer incarnate? I watch as hundreds who without thought of self, give totally of themselves, in search, rescue and aid. Who are these men and women who stay behind while others flee for a safer place? Who is this bereaved elder who cannot bare to leave what once was. I witness in young and old alike the abiding, the exhausted, the comforting, the weeping, the strong, the defeated, and the faithful. Once again, if I have the heart and eyes to see, I experience in the midst of untold misery the living and the suffering Christ. One and the same.|The goodnews is that I do not live alone in Mystery. You are with me.|"I will praise you Oh God for you have rescued me."
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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