As we turn the calendar to April, we enter into that holy of holy seasons—Holy Week– anticipating Easter Sunday. Over the years, I am more deeply drawn into the significance of this time. What a gift from God it is. I try to clear my calendar of other events to make room to do what Jesus asked his disciples to do all those years ago—
Stay with me. Remain here with me. Watch and pray.
These words make up the chorus to a Taizé chant: Remain with me. The link is at the end of this post. I would describe this song as hauntingly beautiful. As I listen each year, I feel Jesus drawing me to himself—to his sacred heart. Continuing his invitation to me to stay with him.
In preparation for Holy Week, the Catholic tradition presents us with two gospels that have deeply touched me this year: Luke 7:11-17 where Jesus brings a widow’s only son back to life, and John 11:1-45 where Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. In both stories, Jesus gives something precious back to loved ones who were grieving. Thoughts of Jesus’ upcoming death and resurrection come to mind. I also find myself pondering the things that God has given back to me over the years since I have been following him. Precious things to me. I would encourage us all to take some time to reflect on our own lives. What things of great value has God given back to us—resurrected for us? As these remembrances fill us with gratitude and love, may we stay with Christ as He enters into his Passion Week. May we watch and pray as the drama unfolds.
I’m also struck by how Jesus told Lazarus’ friends to unbind him: “Take off those burial clothes!” God was giving Lazarus new life—a resurrection. Here, I would encourage each of us to ask: “What needs to be brought back to life in me?” “Where do I need Jesus’ touch to bring life and healing to me?” Spend some time looking at the landscape of your heart. Perhaps draw your heart and all it contains—the love, joy, pain, lingering wounds, the unfinished business. This type of healing takes much time because it needs to touch the roots not just the branches. God knows that deep woundedness needs deep healing. In God’s hands, our wounds can be our treasures—our resurrection this year. Jesus was bound so that we don’t have to be.
God himself can set us free from the hunter’s snare.
Let’s peel away all the other and fully gaze upon God for the next few days as we prepare to engage in the Resurrection. Jesus gave his life as a gift to us. May we make the whole of our lives a gift— may we stop grasping and start giving.
God paid a high price to give us life. Let’s live life fully.
When Easter arrives, let’s be about the Father’s business–bringing about the Kingdom. Let God’s kingdom come through us. Don’t hold back or live life with the brakes on. Live all in!! Respond “yes” to Jesus when He says: “Get up. Let’s go.”
The Holy One dwells in us and does the work. We forget this.
We each bring to the universe our unique gift for the world. We can do what God wills us to do. Becoming fully awake and aware, we see God’s glory. Let’s pray to continue to answer “yes” to the Lord’s call to: “Stay with me. Follow me. Dance with me. And let me lead.”
Let’s stay with Jesus and live a life of prayer and care.
*Here is the link to the Taizé chant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCr2tn4yYKY&list=RDFCr2tn4yYKY&start_radio=1