2 Timothy 1: 6-7, 14
Fan into a flame the gift that God gave you when I laid my hands on you. God’s gift was not a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power, and love, and self control. You have been trusted to look after something precious; guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in you.
Matthew 17: 5-8
Peter was still speaking when suddenly a bright cloud covered them with shadow, and from the cloud there came a voice which said, “This is my son, the Beloved, on whom my favor rests. Listen to him.” When they heard this, the disciples fell on their faces, overcome with fear. But Jesus came up and touched them. “Stand up,” he said, “do not be afraid.” And when they raised their eyes they saw only Jesus.
A Prayer/Poem to Ponder: CROCUS HOPE (source unknown)
It takes courage to be crocus minded.
Lord, I’d rather wait until June, like wise roses,
when the hazards of winter are behind,
and I’m expected, and everything is ready for roses.
But Crocuses? Highly irregular!
Knifing up through hard-frozen ground and snow,
Sticking their necks out because
they believe in Spring
and have something personal and emphatic to say about it.
Lord, I am by nature rose-minded,
even when I have studied the situation,
and know that there are wrongs that need righting,
affirmations that need stating,
and know also that my speaking out
may offend for it rocks the boat…
Wrongs don’t work themselves out,
Injustices and inequities and hurt don’t dissolve.
Somebody has to stick her neck out,
Somebody who cares enough to think through
and work through hard ground,
Because she believes and has something
personal and emphatic to say about it.
Could it be that there are things that
need to be said,
and you want me to say them?
I pray for courage.
“Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” (Dorothy Bernard)
Re-reading or re-watching the Wizard of Oz could be an interesting Lenten activity. The story deals with dreams and hopes, with love and relationships, with the inner journey we all must make, and with things that are most important in life: heart and soul. The tin man looks for a heart (from the Latin root cordis), the lion seeks courage (from the same root), the scarecrow seeks a brain (…and God gave them a heart to think with…Sir. 17:5). Dorothy desires to “come home” – which is the plea of the Lenten Season – “return to me with all your heart.” (Joel 2:12)
As each one faced their fears, that which was sought was found!
For your Reflection
1. “That which we most desire, is often that which we most fear.” What are the deepest desires of your heart? What are your deepest fears? Are these connected in any way? Can you find any encouragement in this?
2. One of the most repeated phrases in Scripture, both Old and New Testaments, is “Be not afraid.” What does this say to you about God’s desire for us?
3. Spend some time with the disciples at the Transfiguration. What enabled them to overcome their fear?
4. In Paul’s letter to Timothy, how would you name the “something precious you have been trusted to look after?”
5. Reflect on the courage of the crocus. How might God be calling you to “stick your neck out?
What do you want to say to God about this?
Take the risk to speak out for the voiceless, take a stand on a social issue, write your representative in Congress, stand up for the courage of your convictions…stick your neck out!
Copyright © 2088 by Kathleen McNany, OSB
Benedictine Sisters of Baltimore, MD.