A few months ago, our favorite padre asked me to contribute to what would become a Lenten booklet for college students. He knows well the love I have for that demographic and I was happy and ridiculously humbled to contribute. My assignment was to write a reflection on each Tuesday of Lent using scripture readings for the day. College students in our area have received actual print books but one of the other contributors, Rachel Balducci, (a bona fide author,) posted all of our daily reflections on Faith and Family Live. As Father Tim says, "Lent Hard."
Tuesday, February 28
Today’s readings remind us of the ever present comfort our Lord provides us during difficult times. Psalm 34 says, “When the just cry out, the LORD hears them, and from all their distress he rescues them.The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.”
How comforting are these words! Most of us have had our spirits crushed. We have known moments of despair. Many of us have looked into the face of someone we love and seen sadness. In this psalm, God validates us. He knows, better than anyone, the pain of a broken heart. He truly empathizes with us and He gives us hope. No matter how deep our pain, how lonely our nights, He will rescue us. He is close to the brokenhearted. He will save our crushed spirits. To all those suffering with illness, loneliness, betrayal, fear, insecurity, He is never as close as He is during these moments of pain. He is with you every single day, rebuilding your precious spirit.
It is in these times of pain that I find myself lacking the words to pray. Words don’t come. I know the answer lies in growing closer to Him but I can’t utter a thing. It is then that I find comfort in the prayer that Jesus himself gave us in Matthew 6—I don’t have to find the words. He gave us His: “Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name…”
Reflecting on those words reminds me during those dark nights that His will shall be done and that forgiveness of self or others, or receiving of forgiveness is usually a key to finding light again. He says, “Give us this day our daily bread.” What is beautiful about this is that He alone knows what “bread” we need. Maybe the homeless woman needs literal bread. Maybe the elderly woman needs the bread of comfort from a visitor. Maybe the addict needs the bread of restoration. Maybe the student needs focus and direction. Whatever our needs are, we simply pray that prayer and He will know exactly what bread to send.
The psalm today begins, “Glorify the LORD with me, let us together extol his name.” During this Lent, may we glorify God in moments of joy and in pain. For we trust the words from Holy Scripture that He hears all of our cries.