Fifth Sunday of Lent Reflection

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“Thus says the LORD,
who opens a way in the sea
and a path in the mighty waters…”

[Isaiah 43:16]

In our commitment to a life of ordinariness lived through the love of God and in the diligent service of God, we come to face the reality of our life on the margins. We are spiritually grounded in a place (our true place) that is, at once, our home and a desert. The swelling tide of response-ability might appear as too mighty a sea, too isolated a place, or too dark a path. But as Xaverians we are not alone. T.J. Ryken envisioned a band of Brothers who mutually help, encourage, and edify one another, and who work together. And today, as it has been lived through the tradition, the Brothers also find mutual help, encouragement, and edification with the Associates, Collaborators, the students they’ve taught over the years, and those to whom they minister around the globe.

The Lord says, “Remember not the events of the past…see, I am doing something new!” And so, it is day after day that we will be called to this unrelenting tension between comfort and marginality, alienation and community. But how will we choose to face this reality?

Let us call to mind those Brothers and friends who have found their home in the desert, who are currently living in distant lands or alone. May we be grateful to their witness, their perseverance, and their trust in God—their example to us. And may we come to terms with our own marginality, and find the courage to manifest the (com)passionate love of God in our corner of the world.


Recommended Exercise

Sit quietly and find your breath. Try to sink into the abundance of inner silence.

Think of a situation in which you are out on a ledge or seemingly alone. Imagine your feelings of alienation, of response-ability as a swelling tide, as mighty waters. Allow the encounter to awe you, to make you sense your smallness.

Now, call on God to give you the courage to stand and face this imposing sea. But remember it is God who opens a way. Allow God to part the waters and give you the courage to walk the path through. See that the path is no less awesome, no less imposing. But God is with you. Place your trust in God and see if you can find a sense of calm in this precarious position.

Remain standing between the parted seas as you bring the imaginative prayer to close. Continue to walk this path throughout your day.



Awesome and powerful God, we ask for the courage to live the radical life of communion on the margins. Make us a home in the desert, so that we may manifest Your care and compassionate love to those who are marginalized among us. We ask this in the name of Jesus, Your Son and our brother. Amen.


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