Reading: Walk With Jesus, Chapter XII, XIII, XIV (pages 73-90)
Thanks to each of you for another week of insightful, compassionate, and supportive discussion. It is clear that Sr. Helen David’s paintings and Henri’s meditations have struck a chord that is resonating beautifully within our small Spirit-filled community.
We are nearing the end of our Lenten journey together. This week we confront Jesus’ death on the cross (XII) and its immediate aftermath as his body is taken from the cross (XIII) and is laid in the tomb (XIV). From a worldly perspective, this looks like the end of the story of Jesus of Nazareth. But we know better. As we focus on Jesus’ death on Good Friday and the solitude of the grave on Holy Saturday this week, we also await Jesus’ glorious resurrection on Easter Sunday (XV) that we will consider in our final week.
Sr. Helen David’s painting for the twelfth station is unlike any of the others because it is so impersonal. Rather than drawing our attention to an individual or group, she shows us the “powers” or the “forces” of death that run rampant in our modern world. In his meditation, Henri reminds us that those same powers of death crushed Jesus too and he died. However, by his death (and the resurrection that follows), he removed death’s sting and gave us the power to participate in eternal life where death can no longer reach. Henri writes, “The great challenge of the Christian life is to say ‘Yes’ to life even in the smallest and, seemingly, unimportant details. Every moment there is a choice to be made: the choice for or against life.” As you reflect on this station, you might consider how you make those choices in your life.
In the thirteenth station we are asked to consider the intimate union between love and sorrow, especially when faced with senseless and horrific death at the hands of evil forces in the world. Mary the mother of Jesus experienced this at the foot of the cross as did those in El Salvador mourning at the graves of the four murdered churchwomen. Looking at both Mary and the churchwomen Henri writes, “There is never love without sorrow, commitment without pain, never involvement without loss, never giving without suffering, never a ‘Yes’ to life without many deaths to die.” Using Sr. Helen David’s painting as inspiration, reflect on situations in your life where you have met suffering and brokenness with the love of Jesus; what was the outcome?
Finally, Sr. Helen David and Henri bring us to the silence and solitude of the grave. Although it appears to be the end, it is not. As Henri writes about the young widow, “She understands something that the powers of death cannot understand. There are a trust and confidence in her that are vastly more powerful than the weapons that killed her husband.” The young widow knows in her heart that Holy Saturday is followed by Easter Sunday. So do we. Looking back on your life, are there times you have rested with Jesus in silence and solitude in the face of difficult circumstances?
As always, you are invited to share what is on your heart to the extent you are comfortable. We look forward to an other week of rewarding reflections. Thanks to all of you that have joined us this Lent, those who are actively commenting and those reading and reflecting in silence. You are all welcome here.
May you have a blessed week.