February 26, 2020
Today, in Mercy, we resolve to turn our hearts more fully to God. The sacred journey of Lent, one we have traveled so often over the years, invites us each time to go deeper into the Well of Mercy.
Joel’s pregnant phrase summons us:
Think of the “even now” moments of your life, those times when, despite darkness and cold, you turned toward light and warmth. Think of a time when, in contradiction to all negativity, your soul proclaimed
- Even now I hope
- Even now I believe
- Even now I love
- Even now I care
- Even now I repent
- Even now I forgive
- Even now I begin again
The rise of an “Even Now” moment in our souls is like the hint of spring pushing its head through the winter snow.
It is the reddish-green thread suggesting life at the tip of the brown, cold-cracked branch.
It is the moment we believe that what we desire and love will turn toward us and embrace us.
Can you imagine God having such moments, longing for our attention, love, presence, catching a glimpse of our turning?
Our reading from Joel describes such a God.
Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart…
These words suggest God’s longing for us, for our devotion and love.
But our holy intentions weaken and we often drift away from our “first fervors”. Our hearts attach to distractions from God. So God says:
Rend your hearts …
and return to the LORD, your God.
For I am gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, rich in kindness …
Come back to Me, with all your heart.
This is what Lent is all about. Each of us knows where our hearts have wandered. Each of knows what we must turn from — even now — to return to God’s embrace.
If we can hear God’s longing in this haunting reading from Joel perhaps the true turning will begin. A blessed Lent, my friends.
I found this modern song helpful to my prayer. I imagine God singing it to me, to the world, as we begin our Lenten journey. Perhaps it may touch your prayer too. God loves us so much, infinitely more than we can comprehend. But imagining God’s love in human terms, as John of the Cross did, can sometimes deepen our understanding and response to God.
Music: Even Now – Nana Mouskouri