“Jesus cried out in a loud voice again, and gave up his spirit.” -Matthew 27:50
On this last Sunday of Lent, we hear two gospel passages with contrasting tones and images. The first is the joyous procession of Jesus into Jerusalem, where he is hailed by a large crowd. The second is the painful narrative of Jesus’s betrayal and crucifixion.
In this final week, we are invited to sit in the tension between the Kingdom of God that is present to us already and that which is yet to come. We feel the joy of the Palm Sunday procession and wait for Easter, knowing the end of the story already: that God has triumphed over sin and death. Yet we wait and work for the coming of God’s Kingdom in a broken world.
In hearing the passion story, we can reflect on the still-present realities of sin, suffering, and injustice in our world, including the harm done to our planet. We recall all those who, following the example of Jesus, give over their lives to witness to a better world or to the coming Kingdom of God.
“The Season of Lent enables us to perceive the new creation that God is bringing about in each of us and in our world,” writes Father Ray Finch, Superior General of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. “It helps open our eyes and hearts to the Spirit turning the world upside down.” As we prepare for the joy of Easter next week, let us give thanks for the steps we have taken in our journey toward ecological conversion and for the ways God’s new creation is already emerging in our world. Let us pray for the grace to continue on this journey.
In Christ’s resurrection he “reconciles all things to himself,” proclaiming the renewal of all creation in the Kingdom of God (Col 1: 19). As Christians, we are called to witness to that Kingdom and work to build it daily through following in the footsteps of Jesus.
Father, we praise you with all your creatures.
They came forth from your all-powerful hand;
they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love. Praise be to you!
Son of God, Jesus,
through you all things were made.
You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother, you became part of this earth,
and you gazed upon this world with human eyes. Today you are alive in every creature
in your risen glory.
Praise be to you!
Holy Spirit, by your light
you guide this world towards the Father’s love and accompany creation as it groans in travail. You also dwell in our hearts
and you inspire us to do what is good.
Praise be to you!
Triune Lord, wondrous community of infinite love, teach us to contemplate you
in the beauty of the universe,
for all things speak of you.
Awaken our praise and thankfulness
for every being that you have made.
Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined to everything that is.
God of love, show us our place in this world
as channels of your love
for all the creatures of this earth,
for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.
Enlighten those who possess power and money
that they may avoid the sin of indifference,
that they may love the common good, advance the weak, and care for this world in which we live.
The poor and the earth are crying out.
O Lord, seize us with your power and light, help us to protect all life,
to prepare for a better future,
for the coming of your Kingdom
of justice, peace, love and beauty.
Praise be to you!
– A prayer for the earth from Laudato Si’
The Dominican Sisters~Grand Rapids join with other congregations of Dominican Sisters in North America to bring you this prayer, as part of a Lenten reflection journey. This prayer and additional reflections can be found in the Lenten 2020 Guide: A Journey Toward Ecological Conversion. Special Thanks to the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns. Follow along with us each week during Lent.
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