This past month, I have been doing an e-retreat on Lectio Divina, which involves reading, praying and meditating on Scripture. As I sat with the readings from this weekend’s liturgy, I was struck by how God was speaking to the Israelites in the first reading. God says he will bring them back from their exile and gather them ‘from the ends of the earth.’ The phrases that popped into my head from both readings was ‘Remain in hope’ and ‘Be Bold.’
We may feel stuck in an awful situation that we too must ‘remain’ in. How will our waiting play out? I was reminded of the people in our parish who have been immersed in sorrow and suffering this year. Those who have lost loved ones, have suffered illness, have struggled with broken relationships…. I pray for them as I think of each one of them and pray they know God is with them and will bring them through the hard times of their lives.
A friend sent me a link to a blog with excerpts from a friend who had died of cancer. She was an amazing witness of strength & courage as she died, and was an inspiration to those around her. The gist of her blog for that day was to say she had to CHOOSE joy (and hope, I would add). She struggled with self-pity and sadness as she dealt with her illness, but tried to see God in it all.
Next time you are sitting in prayer with Jesus and he asks you, ‘What do you want from me?’ be bold and ask for what your heart desires. If you are lonely, ask for friends. If you are sad, ask for lightness of heart. If you are anxious, ask for peace. Remain in hope and be bold!