Ash Wednesday Reflection

Negev Desert

Negev Desert

I am forgotten, out of mind like the dead;

I am like a shattered dish.

Psalm 31:13

A pot lies broken in the sand.  It is discarded—scattered pieces with jagged edges strewn without care.  The Master comes upon them—40 days gone by—returning from prayer.  He bends to examine the broken pieces and begins to pick them up.  One by one—dusting the sand—he fits the pieces like a puzzle until it is repaired.  Satisfied, he holds it up to the sky and pronounces it whole to his father.  Lowering the pot, he peers inside with a kind expression and whispers, “Love my people.”  The words reverberate and echo in the vast emptiness of the pot.  He speaks again, “Be filled with their loneliness, pain, happiness, and even joy, so that I may empty you—to be filled again.”

Safely cradling the pot, the Master goes on his way and places the pot on his table.  The pot is filled, emptied, and filled again—all at the Master’s table.

“Stfrancisgirl”

March 2002

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Above: I wrote the above reflection after attending TEC 21 (To Encounter Christ).  During our time of adoration, I heard Jesus whispering to me to “Love my people.”  I believe I am refilled every time I approach the altar and receive Holy Communion.

Reflection song: The Youtube link to the song I had here was removed so I deleted it from this post.  I have finally found a link on Rhapsody where you can listen to it.  This is the link to Russ Taff on Rhapsody. In the song list, select “Table in the Wilderness” and a small player will come up.  You may need to slide the volume to right on the player.  I love this song and think it is a perfect start to the Lenten season.  I hope this new link will provide you with the opportunity to enjoy the song.

 

“Table In The Wilderness” by Russ Taff (also a Gaither Vocal Band alumni) is a favorite of mine from years ago.  I use to have a cassette backing track of the song because I fancied myself singing a church solo.  This never happened but that never stopped me from popping the track into the church audio system and turning on the mic when no one was there to hear me.  It is my hopes that my reflection and choice of song assist you as we begin this season of Lent.  Though I sang this song over and over as a Baptist, the idea of “the Table” took on a whole new significance to me as a Catholic.  I wrote about “the Table” in my reflection.  Listen and read the lyrics to the song.  In the midst of a barren and desert land, we are all invited to the Table.

 

Table In The Wilderness by Russ Taff

There’s a table in
the Wilderness
Where the blind can see
And the poor possess
Where the weak are strong
And the first one’s last
There’s a table in the Wilderness

There’s a table in
the Wilderness
Where the blessed sing
of his tenderness
Where the lame can walk
and the weary rest
At the table in the Wilderness

When you search so hard for the promised land
But the earth won’t yield to your blistered hands
And you hang your head
And you wipe your brow
And you shout it out, shout it out

There’s a table in the Wilderness
Where the blind can see
and the poor possess
Where the weak are strong
And the first one’s last
There’s a table in the Wilderness
There’s a table in the Wilderness

When you close your eyes kneeling by your bed
All the working hours spinning through your head
You remember the place
That your heart desires
Where you found life, you found life
At the table in the wilderness

Where the blind can see
And the poor possess
Where the weak are strong
And the first one’s last
There’s a table in the Wilderness
There’s a table in the Wilderness

Where the blind can see
And the poor possess
Ever thankful for
Being honored guests
At the table in the Wilderness
There’s a table in the Wilderness
Ther’s a table in the Wilderness
All is welcome
Living Water

Come find Life
Come find Peace
Come find Rest

 

 

 

A Holy Land Pilgrim Arrives – Day 1

On February 14, 2000, I boarded a plane for the Holy Land – a Jubilee year pilgrimage led by a priest from my parish.  Never in my life would I imagine making such a trip.   While there, I kept a daily journal of my experiences.   Beginning today through Palm Sunday, my weekly post will be a day from my journal.  I have taken photos from my Holy Land pilgrimage scrapbook.  I may include some additional reflection as well.

 Photo:  Top image is view of the Sea of Galilee from my hotel room window; Bottom photo of Jubilee year postcard

Day 1 – Tue, 2/15/00 Arrival – Tiberias

It is the eve of my Holy Land discoveries.  On the ride to Tiberias, I am amused at the familiar sites of Office Depot, Toys “R” Us, and McDonald’s golden arches.  I wonder if Jesus had just come in our year 2000, would he have “suffered the little children to come with Him” to Toys “R” Us followed by a Happy Meal?  In just the dark silhouette of night, I can tell what a paradox of images await daylight.  What have the last few decades of industry and technology obliterated of the last 2000 years?  Though my entire pilgrimage is still before me, I feel a peace settling in my soul to quiet the disturbances of 20th Century conveniences.  That is the question.  Can I put aside today to truly visit yesterday?  The yesterday that Jesus’ feet walked the earth in the land of God’s chosen people — Israel. 

 

I keep thinking about the paradox of modern images versus the Israel I imagined from my Bible.  I think our attempts to properly celebrate Advent in the midst of commercialization offers a similar paradox.   Lent is approaching in the wake of Valentine candies, cards, and flowers.  Green St. Patrick’s Day party items will soon be joined by an expanse of Easter goodies.  Lent will begin on February 25th and there will be plenty of distractions.  What distracts you the most and how can you lessen the distractions?  What will Lent mean to you this year? 

Information on Tiberias from Wikipedia