Message from Fr. Mike
IS IT LACK OF FAITH OR THE WOUND?
For my spiritual reading for this Lent, I decided to read the Book of Deuteronomy. It was a random decision. The entire Book of Deuteronomy was based on the experience of the Israelites beyond the River Jordan. Moses recalled the people’s experience after Mount Horeb. This was the fortieth year of their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. They were at the end of their journey. They had arrived, and are about to enter and take possession of the Promised Land, the Land of Canaan. Moses sent twelve people to reconnoiter the Land of Canaan from the south. The explorers came back with mixed news, good, and not-so-good. The good news was that, “The land the LORD, our God, is giving us is good.” (Deuteronomy 1:25). The not-so-good news is that it is occupied by the “Anakim” (Deuteronomy 1:28): a people proverbially notable for height.
Despite the apparent threat posed by the Anakim, the Lord God asked the Israelites to take possession of the land. They, except Caleb, son of Jephunneh, rebelled against God out of fear. (Deuteronomy 1:36) They feared the Anakim. Then they “turn(ed) back and proceed into the wilderness on the Red Sea Road” where they came from. (Deuteronomy 1:40) They demonstrated their lack of faith in God.
As we continue our journey to “Renew,” our Lenten journey, we might encounter Anakim in our lives. We might encounter the wounds we are afraid to touch. We might encounter wounds that refuse to heal. We might remember some experiences we would prefer not to recount.
However, Jesus, like Moses, is asking us not to be afraid. Jesus is the wounded healer. There is no wound He cannot heal. There is no experience He cannot fix. The problem is not our wound, or our experience, but our faith. The God of Mercy, the father of the Prodigal Son, is our companion on this journey to renew. God is here to heal and renew. All we need is faith in Him. The journey of Lent is a call to renew our faith in God.
Here are two Lenten Poems for your meditation.
Down the convoluted ways
In the maze of my life,
many wounds protrude.
Their thorns and thistles intrude,
choking the very life within me
Yet my hungry heart knows its source of refreshment: the Wounded Healer, my Crucified Love,
who, in silence and solitude, speaks to my hearing heart, and sings me a love song to bind my brokenness,
heal my woundedness, and satisfy my yearning heart.
Once again, I am blessed:
touched by His amazing grace!
By Jeanette Martino Land
Lullaby of the Body of Christ.
Wasn’t it just last month that Mary cradled you in her arms at Bethlehem? Didn’t I just wrap the last
shepherd in tissue, in the box with the tinsel and
How could I forget this soon that she crooned to you,
lying in the straw? That she tickled your hands and
kissed your baby toes?
Now the wood of the crib becomes the wood of the
cross, and I don’t understand it is I who must cradle in my arms the broken body
that Mary once wrapped in swaddling.
Now you look poor and confused, oppressed and
dying, misunderstood and homeless. Help me embrace the people who are you.
By Susan Sraney