Prayer for Lent

Monday of Holy Week – Isaiah 42

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A bruised reed He shall not break, and a smoldering wick He shall not quench.
Isaiah 42:3

Monday of Holy Week – Isaiah 42:3

A bruised reed He shall not break, and a smoldering wick He shall not quench.

Additional Reading(s) today: Isaiah 42:1-7; John 12:1-11

Today’s Lenten Reflection

If you’ve ever been near the beach or marshland, you have probably seen endless stretches of reeds swaying in the breeze, bending low but never snapping. It is quite beautiful. It also offers us a poetic and visible analogy for today’s first reading. In a world of absolutes, fast reactions and hardened hearts, “bending” isn’t usually seen as a good or strong thing. But as we ponder Jesus about to enter into His ultimate suffering today, we can dwell on this image — a strong reed bending without breaking. It’s like the martial art of Aikido, which bends with an attacker’s movements — rather than stiffening against them — as a way to control the outcome. We see Jesus in total control, bending to the will of the people out to hurt Him. He does not lash out. He does not fight back. But in the end, Jesus controls the outcome by accepting what is as a way to ultimate victory for all of us. While bending may be seen as weakness in our world, Jesus shows us that bending is sometimes required in order to bring about the will of God — to get to where we need to go. As we head toward what is coming, the pain and suffering that lies ahead, can we imagine bending toward it and embracing the Cross? What does that look like in your life? Is there something you have been fighting against that could benefit you more by responding with flexibility and pliability? See what it feels like today to bend — to accept what is — rather than fight against it and break.

Lenten Meditation

In her beautiful book I Will Not Die an Unlived Life: Reclaiming Purpose and Passion, author Dawna Markova writes about conflict and anger. “What if you were to stand at the edge of that precipice as your fire rises and do nothing but notice the sensations of your body? What if I were to stand there long enough to notice my breath rise and fall, long enough to notice the space before and after inspiration and do nothing more than ask myself, ‘What do I really need now?'” As we head deeper into Holy Week, deeper into darkness, stand there on the edge … and just breathe. Notice what you need and simply wait. Allow the wind to move you, but not break you. Peace will begin to settle into your soul, and you will hear the gentle whisper of the Spirit reassuring you once more that God is in control.

Lenten Prayer

Suffering Savior, we walk with You this week, pained by what we know is coming and grieved for our role in it. We will stay with You, bending, swaying, breathing, waiting. God our Father, source of all our strength, whether there is song or affliction in our hearts and in our homes, help us to always remain peaceful so that we don’t miss the glory of Jesus’ ascension from the very place where He abides within us. Amen.

Today’s suggested penance

*Say “I’m sorry” to someone who is alienated from you because of an offense.

“Whoever says, ‘I abide in Him,’ ought to walk just as He walked” –1 John 2:6.

Have you missed any of the other Meditations for Lent? If so, click here: 40 Days of Lenten Prayer
See also:
7 Best Psalms to Pray During Lent
5 Best Psalms for Forgiveness
3 Powerful Psalms for Forgiveness

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