Today’s reflection was written by Brother John Collins, C.F.X.
Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
These words of the prophet Isaiah from the lectionary reading for Wednesday of the fourth week of Lent are, in their biblical context, a promise to the Israelites that their exile, their captivity will soon be over. God has not and can never forget the chosen people. The Isaiah quote can also be found in the Xaverian Fundamental Principles:
Can a mother forget her infant
Or be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
I will never forget you.
I have branded you on the palms of my hands.
Today, during our Lenten journey, we are encouraged to listen deeply to the prophet’s words and receive them as personally meant for us, in whatever circumstances of life we presently find ourselves. Each one of us, as daughters and sons of the loving God and disciples of Jesus of Nazareth, is on a pilgrimage of faith, a spiritual journey. Saint Ignatius Loyola, in his Spiritual Exercises, tells us that on this journey we will experience periods of light as well as darkness, times of consolation and desolation. No matter what we experience, we are asked to trust that our God is forever faithful.
How is God’s love, God’s faithfulness, manifested? It generally is discovered in the common, ordinary, unspectacular flow of everyday life, and it is experienced through those we encounter along this path. Perhaps, it is by means of a word, a look, a glance, a smile, a touch, an embrace; or, through an expression of appreciation, affirmation, encouragement, forgiveness, gratefulness, love, thanks, support, solidarity. May each of us walk on in faith trusting that the God of Love will provide, and will never forget us.
In silence, take several minutes to slow down from the pace of the day. Perhaps, attention to one’s breathing, or the repetition of a centering word, phrase, sentence, mantra will be an aid.
Then allow your memory to recall an experience of God’s love and presence that was offered to you by someone through the common and ordinary experiences of everyday life (note examples in the above reflection). Dwell with this experience, reflect on it, and then write a journal entry about it.
God of Love and Compassion, we ask that you give us sight, so that we can see the world through your eyes. We ask for ears to hear your call to service and the hands to do your will. We ask this in the name of Jesus, Your Son and our brother. Amen.