Holy Week 2017

April 12, 2017 | Reflections From Sr Mary

Healer of my soul
Keep me at even’
Keep me at morning
Keep me at noon
Healer of my soul

Keeper of my soul
On rough course faring
Help and safeguard my means this night
Keeper of my soulI am tired, astray, and stumbling
Shield my soul from the snare of sin

The words of the beautiful hymn we have listened to tonight, capture the essence of what we have been about throughout the long days of Lent, they also unlock the treasures of this most Holy Week and they speak of what we are about in this Liturgy of Reconciliation tonight.

Keeping and Healing…are these not, in a nutshell, what Jesus was about so often in his earthly ministry? Are they also not what we have been about during these 40 days?

Keeping true to who we are and to our call,
Keeping the Gospel and the Rule,
Keeping our minds and hearts pure,
Keeping the love of God close to us…
and Healing
Healing the rough places within us,
Healing the deep hurts,
Healing the relationships that have wavered,
Healing the earth and sending our prayers of Healing to the people and places where war, hunger, fear, darkness or terror are raging…

If we look back over the stories that we have heard during the Liturgy over these past weeks, we will notice the same Keeping and Healing happening over and over again.

We heard these themes in the very first Sunday when Jesus was lured into the desert… a time he was kept by God and the angels, and healed of his fears and doubts.

In the Transfiguration story, again, what a wonderful keeping and healing Jesus must have felt in the words of the Father, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”. The same keeping and healing was felt so strongly by the apostles that they wanted to stay in those feelings forever.

And we could go on with the same themes in the woman at the well, the man born blind, the raising of Lazarus, the beautiful words from Isaiah yesterday where we heard that God will not break us when we are feeling crushed. He will not quench our wavering flame, but will stretch out his hand to touch us, encircle us, call us forth and heal us.

And now,
steeped in all these Gospel stories,
steeped in our own Lenten prayer and journey,
steeped in our communal efforts,
we sit here tonight in this most holiest of weeks, seeking once again to be kept and healed by God and by one another…

Some years ago, when we were at Pennant Hills, I came upon a Good Friday reflection by a Jesuit priest. I have never been able to find it again but its impact remains with me and I think of it every year during Holy Week. It always speaks to me so powerfully of holiness, anointing and love… being kept and healed.

The writer spoke of Jesus hanging and suffering on the cross and the Father reaching out to his beloved Son and putting on his lips those beautiful words from the Song of Songs. The Father calls Jesus from the cross saying:

Come then, my love,
my lovely one, come.
For see, winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.
Come then, my love,
my lovely one, come.

Perhaps we could take those words to heart tonight and throughout the rest of this Holy Week – especially on Good Friday . May each of us know these same outstretched arms of the Father reaching out to us and the loving gaze of Jesus resting upon us as we hear those same words spoken to us……

Come then, my love,
my lovely one, come.
For see, winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.
Come then, my love,
my lovely one, come.

Come then my love and walk the way of Holy Week with me.
Come then for I will be the Keeper and the Healer of your soul… and the world.

Let us finish by listening to the hymn once again.