V. We adore You, O Christ, and we bless You.
R. Because by Your holy Cross, You have redeemed the world.
The past few weeks have felt heavy for various reasons. I can relate to the following scripture from Deuteronomy:
"For the LORD your God has blessed you in all that you have done; He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness...."Deuteronomy 2:7
Many times I feel like I am in the middle of nowhere without any distractions for comfort, yet this wilderness has been such a blessing. Thomas Merton writes,
“Let us never forget that the ordinary way to contemplation lies through a desert without trees and without beauty and without water.”
This reminds me of yesterday's reflection of Jesus wandering in the desert for forty days and of the song for today. Robert Kochis begins his calm and comforting song In This Place with the lines,
“We are one hungry people. We need shelter and strength. We are one in our hurting. We are one in our pain. In our suffering and sadness we are saved by the grace of the power and the Spirit that is here in this place.”
The first time I heard this song my mind jumped to work. I am a Catholic school teacher in a small town of less than 20,000 people. Our town is quiet, simple, and it borders Mexico (a beautiful desert yet, seemingly lawless corrupt place). I never imagined that being a young teacher here would be so hard. I was naive to think, just less than two years ago, that teaching meant playing and singing all day.
I laugh and shake my head at myself now. I began teaching because I thought I could help inspire kids to be the best versions of themselves. I wanted to teach because I felt like I had so much life experience to offer these little ones.
But now I realize how much they have been teaching me about myself and how I can change to better love them. Every time a kids acts out I see that they are hungry for love and my prayer is;
Jesus love them through me. When my students are hurting;
Jesus comfort them through me. When they’re on the verge of tears, I’m right there with them.
Jesus wipe their tears through me. May my words become your words.
They have my heart and that's scary but also so beautiful.
When Kochis sings,
“ All our lives are a mystery, We see not where they lead.
We are asked now to trust you and we know we must believe,”
I am convicted about my own life. I never saw this as my future yet here I am. I trust and believe that this is where I need to be now. In a desert, on a border town where there is so much spiritual hunger. I must believe that despite my shortcomings as a teacher and the shortcomings of my students, that God will give us His grace to start anew the next day.
I must believe that each day is a resurrection and new beginning for all of us.
For this Lent, let's simply trust that God is a Father who keeps his promises and ALWAYS wills our good.
“It is Jesus who fills us. He is here in this place.”
May we keep this in the forefront of our hearts. God bless you sister.
Dear Jesus You go to die For very love of me; Let me bear you company; I wish to die with You. -Saint Alphonsus Liguori