I’m publishing by request two short readings I recently used in sermons during the first two Sundays in Lent. One speaks to a quality of Lent as a kind of Sabbath; the second is a personal witness of one person’s experience of falling into the hands of God, a radical surrender brought about in his life by a stroke. His sense of utter dependence on God also speaks to a quality of Lent.
The first reading comes from Earth Prayers in an excerpt written by a Committee, but surprisingly succinct.
We who have lost our sense and our senses–our touch, our smell, our vision of who we are; we who frantically force and press all things, without rest for body or spirit, hurting our earth, and injuring ourselves: we call a halt.
We want to rest. We need to rest and allow the earth to rest. We need to reflect and to rediscover the mystery that lives in us, that is the ground of every unique expressions of life, the source of the fascination that calls all things to communion.
We declare a Sabbath, a space of quiet: for simply being and letting be; for recovering the great, forgotten truths; for learning how to live again.U. N Environmental Sabbath Program
The second reading comes from Hearts on Fire: Praying with the Jesuits, and is written by Pedro Arrupe, S.J.
More than ever I find myself in the hands of God.
This is what I have wanted all my life from my youth.
But now there is a difference;
the initiative is entirely with God.
It is indeed a profound spiritual experience
to know and feel myself so totally in God’s hands.
I’m glad that someone asked me to reproduce them. I found them both helpful in expressing this strange season of evaluation, of turning, and reaching toward Jesus.
Peace, Pastor Anne