March 20, 2018
by Gladyce Janky
Creighton University Chaplain for Law and Graduate Schools
click here for photo and information about the writer

Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 252

Numbers 21:4-9
Psalms 102:2-3, 16-18, 19-21
John 8:21-30

Praying Lent Home

Lent Prayer for Today

The Fifth Week of Lent - 18 min. - Text Transcript

I was sitting on a bus in Northern Spain when I first reviewed today’s readings.  As a pilgrim participating in the spring break Ignatian Pilgrimage as Prayer, I was following in the footsteps of St. Ignatius.  I could not help but compare the Israelites’ journey with that of Ignatius.  He left behind his old life that had been focused on achieving personal glory and began the journey toward a new life focused on serving God.  The Israelites were escaping slavery headed towards the promise of a new home.  I wondered if Ignatius, like the Israelites, ever felt worn down by the difficulties of the journey.  Taking in the beauty of the rugged and empty landscape I reflected on the many hardships both Ignatius and the Israelites must have endured.   Were there times when he wondered if he would find food, water, or shelter?  Visiting Monserrat, I spent time in the chapel of the Black Madonna, trying to imagine Ignatius presenting her with his sword, the last symbol of his old life.  He then gave his donkey to the abbey and traded clothing with a beggar.  Next, he continued his journey on foot, despite war injuries that never completely healed. 

As my pilgrimage continued, in the comfort of a tour bus, my reflection turned to my Lenten journey.  What is the sword, the symbol of my attachment to the world, that I need to surrender?  Unlike Ignatius or the Israelites, I am not worried about access to food, water, or shelter but many people in our world still lack these necessities.  When people today are fleeing slavery, crying out to God in their distress, what is my response?  Am I an Israelite, longing to stay in my place of worldly comfort and security, ignoring their cries?  Or, do I have the courage to give up my “donkey”, my comfortable seat on the bus, to follow in the footsteps of St. Ignatius of Loyola? 

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