A Meditation on the Readings for Friday of the 2nd Week of Lent
– GN 37:3-4, 12-13A, 17B-28A; MT 21:33-43, 45-46

There are times when it seems
that everything is against us,
and perhaps the heart is tempted
to think that it is forsaken, forgotten,
and to give into discouragement or despair.
But faith never ceases to echo deep within:
all things work for good for those who love God.

Joseph, after reuniting with his brothers,
who had cast him into a cistern
and then sold him as a slave into Egypt,
said to them, simply:
You desired this for ill, my brothers,
but God intended it for good,
so that, through me,
he could save many lives.

When we turn, even more deeply,
to the Crucified One, loving us from the Cross,
we come to understand what trust in God means,
and what the love that blossoms from this trust truly is:
You intended this for evil, my beloved,
but through it I have saved your life from ill.
I have passed through all of your suffering,
taking it in love and compassion as my own.
And in doing this I have made it sacred,
nevermore something isolated, alone,
but rather a meeting-place with me,
and, in me, with every person.

When you are suffering,
know that I am uniting myself with you,
and asking you to unite yourself with me.
I do not desire, nor rejoice, in your pain,
because you are precious in my eyes,
and I love you tenderly.
But I know, dearly beloved,
that this world is not truly redeemed
by a word pronounced from the outside alone,
nor by some miraculous flicking of a wand.
Rather, it is redeemed by the sap of my grace,
by the blood of my divine life with the Father,
seeping ever more deeply into every fiber of creation,
and in this way transforming it from within.

Will you help me, beloved one,
through your love, through your prayer,
through your joy, and, yes, your sorrow,
in this movement of redemptive love?
I need you, I need you in order to enter human hearts…
for I cannot force my way into them.
But through your suffering, your hope,
through your gladness and your peace,
you mysteriously help to open a space in them,
and you also carry them, in me,
closer and closer to the Father.

I want to perpetuate my life in you, beloved,
in all the mysteries that I, personally, underwent.
Rejoice when I give you times of Tabor,
when you are with me on the mountain,
or in the plain, or on the sea,
or in the stillness of those nights of prayer.
But know that, when you experience Gethsemane,
when you walk with me to Calvary
and feel as if you are stretched out on a cross,
that my Love is even more present to you then,
and, if you cannot see or feel me,
it is because we are so close, beloved,
that we are one in the same,
sharing the same heartbeat, the same love.