Fifth Sunday of Lent Reflection
March 21, 2021
By Sr. Denise Farrands, OSU
Who would have thought that, as we progress through the Lenten season, we’d be more than one year into coping with a worldwide pandemic? For many of us, COVID 19 has created a world of fear, pain and anxiety. We have seen so many deaths.
It’s been a year of isolation in so many ways, of masks and hand sanitizers, of seeing schools, churches, restaurants and stores closed, of friends and family members losing jobs, of receiving our ashes at the beginning of Lent sprinkled on our heads so the priest would not have to touch our foreheads!
But there have been glimmers of light and hope too…so many people reaching out to alleviate some of the trauma…which brought me to the image of Simon of Cyrene helping Jesus to carry the cross.
What has occurred this year has reminded me that, rather than giving something up for Lent, we need to consider something more positive…how we can be a Simon to those who cross our paths…the people we live with and those who are in need. How can we be a living sign of hope and love? What can we do that is life-giving? Where will we meet Jesus this Lent?
…We all need to find our safe places, where we can re-energize, let go of our anxieties, and pray.
…We need to find ways to stay focused; it will be different for each of us. I find holding a ceramic “My Lord’s cross” gives me strength and comfort during prayer time.
…We need to see whose cross we can help carry…perhaps donating to, or assisting at, a food bank, reaching out to someone with a phone call, a text or note, driving someone to an appointment or picking up groceries for them, praying for each other.
…We need to increase our trust in Jesus.
I have two prayer cards from my uncle, Father Tom Ahern, that are short in thought and well worth sharing.
…Pray! Trust! Don’t worry!
…Do not let your hearts be troubled nor be afraid. I will walk the journey with you always!
When we reflect on our crosses, we need only remind ourselves of the horror and pain of Jesus’ cross…His willingness to suffer for our redemption. He is our beacon of hope in these trying times. We need to take the message of Jesus, live it and share it with others.
Love conquers all!
“Do not look forward in fear to the changes in life; rather, look to them with full hope that, as they arise, God, whose very own you are, will lead you safely through all things, and when you cannot stand it, God will carry you in His arms.”
St. Francis de Sales