Saturday, April 15, 2017

Lenten Meditation

This year I was blessed with the opportunity to participate in a project with my home parish, despite being out here, in Costa Rica. 40 people were each assigned a day and received the assigned passages to meditate and reflect upon. Being able to read these thoughts from my friends back home each day has made the distance seem a little shorter. I'd like to share my submission, from April 8th, with you. My online Episcopal community.

"When Mary arrived where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.”
When Jesus saw her crying and the Jews who had come with her crying also, he was deeply disturbed and troubled. He asked, “Where have you laid him?”
They replied, 'Lord, come and see.'
Jesus began to cry." John 11:32-35
In preparation for my mission year I learned about the utility of cultural sensitivity. This encompassed many different things, but all hinged around the idea of ditching the old “white savior complex” of missioners who have gone before us. We must strive not to “Do For” but to “Be With”. First and foremost is always relationship building, through Christ, because all work will be properly prepared after those friendships has been forged.
It can be hard, especially on days when you feel your time is not being well spent. Days when the kids are screaming and fighting, when the schedule has been changed without your knowledge. Days when the bus passes by you without stopping and then it starts to rain. In today's Gospel we hear about Mary going to meet Christ, at the behest of her sister. Mary is grief stricken over the death of her brother, and begins to cry as she reaches Jesus. John 11:35 states Christ’s response as plain as can be.
“Jesus wept.”
Christ has already been lauded for his miraculous abilities, but his response to seeing Mary in such a state was not to jump for a solution. Not to try and end her despair abruptly. Banish it from his day, his mood, his presence. Instead Christ simply stayed with her. He felt moved. Before being called to action he needed Mary to know, that he was here with her. And that her pain was being shared.
I still find it difficult to comfort a child in Spanish. Whether it’s a fall off the jungle gym, or a bruise from a bully, or a preteen heartache, the words may escape me. In times like that it helps to remember the power of togetherness. Maybe I can’t raise the dead, but I can remain with you until the storm passes.

Happy Easter!!

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