Day 16 Thursday March 5 – [P] Holy
RO: Lent isn’t about us. It is about an encounter with Christ. God gives us the tools of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving to heal our relationship with Him in prayer, to heal our relationship where we are broken within ourselves with fasting, and to heal our relationship with others with almsgiving. // Allow Christ to consume you and pray to be consumed by Him – His beauty, His kindness, His goodness, and His everlasting love.
Jeremiah 17: 5-10
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD. // I, the LORD, alone probe the mind and test the heart.
Luke 16: 19-31
He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.’”
I was looking for the word or feeling of “Holy” all day. I thought the word “Holy”, “Holy”, “Holy” over and over again but that’s as far as I could get in in prayer.
Fortunately God gave me a way to really reflect on “Holy” via the Pittsburgh NOW (Night of Worship) event. In the evening I went with my sister Bridgette to this event and it was 2 hours of a close encounter with Christ in a community of others. It felt very fulfilling! There were speeches, songs, and adoration.
When Bishop Zubik brought the Eucharist in I felt the power of God. And I don’t mean that in a cheesy way like you might think of if you’re thinking this event was like on of those tele-evangelists shows. I mean it in a way that was pure love for God and my heart and mind feeling and knowing the importance of what was before me. In that moment there was no way to continue to stand before the Lord. I fell to my knees in prayer.
Throughout the night I had a variety of thoughts that felt deep and true, but what were they? It largely escapes me. But here a a few things that stand out:
- “Brothers and sisters: We are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us.” – 2 Corinthians.
- “Probe the mind; test the heart” – In Bishop Zubik’s homily he spoke of this quote from the reading from Jeremiah – and how God probes our mind and tests our hearts. This statement is my existence — I feel like so much of what I do is think “What should I do with my life?” and my heart feels many things, but then my brain stays in the way making it hard to know what God is really telling my heart. God is there in both my mind and my heart, ever nudging me towards Him and where He wants me to do with this life He has given me. My question should not always be “What should I do with my life?” but rather “What does God want me to do with my life?” If I was brave enough to truly listen I imagine it would be very clear. But I can I be brave? I am not sure that I can be brave enough, and so fear this question.
- In focusing on “Hope” I definitely noticed those times when “Hope” was said or a theme. But my thoughts were largely “Oh that could be what I write about!”. And it made me realize that when we narrow our focus so much we can miss so much. There were beautiful messages all around me. But did I hear them? Perhaps I heard the words, but I doubt I truly understood or felt their meaning.
4: When I walked in and found my sister she was talking to the mom of the guy who started The Pittsburgh Home and Holly Joy, the director of the youth and young adult ministry for the diocese. Why this was awesome: By chance one night within the last week I heard that on Essential Pittsburgh they would be talking about homeless youth. I called Bridgette to tell her because I knew she had a meeting the next day to talk about homeless youth. She listened to the program. The next morning she grabbed coffee with Holly Joy (separate from her homeless youth talk) where Holly Joy said she was feeling the need to help the homeless youth, but she couldn’t explain why and she mentioned she had heard of The Pittsburgh Home but didn’t know much else. Bridgette was able to tell her about the Essential Pittsburgh episode and that she was attending a talk that day. Holly Joy was then able to connect up with Jon Potter of The Pittsburgh Home.
We don’t necessarily get to know the full picture of why God calls us to what He calls us. And when we respond to Him with “Yes” our small yeses can snowball to things beyond ourselves and our understanding (and rightly so!). What people may call “coincidence” God is there, seeing the fruition of the seeds He planted in many places.
5: Great scripture for GloryRunners: “Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us.” – Hebrews 12: 1
Continue to Day 17