Our Lenten journey will soon come to an end. In one week’s time, Jesus will joyfully enter into the city of David, welcomed as a King as we celebrate Passion Sunday with the blessing of palm branches. But for now, as Lent draws toward its conclusion, we find anything but joy. The drama is slowly being ratcheted upwards as Jesus continues towards Jerusalem and the cross.
In our readings today we find the prophet Jeremiah fearing for his life as the people he has been preaching to begin to plot against him. He believes that they want to send him into exile or perhaps even to kill him, so he cries out to God, looking for help in his distress. In the Gospel the authorities are in a frenzy. They are desperate to arrest Jesus and place him on trial. At the same time, they are being incredibly fearful of him because of the popularity he has amassed and their own doubt and confusion over who Jesus really is.
We probably don’t need anymore drama in our life right now, there is enough going on in the world that makes us confused, anxious, maybe even fearful. But isn’t that the nature of our life? While we love to have things under control it often feels like they are anything but out of our hands.
What we need is an anchor, something we can cling to until things calm down again. And in the midst of our readings we find just that, a few words that we can take into our heart in order to ground us during these perilous days. “Lord God, I take refuge in you”.
The Psalm response for today’s readings is a plea for deliverance. It is attributed to King David who was said to have written it when he was facing persecution from his enemies. Everything around David was falling apart and he had no where to turn to for support except for God.
The image David used was that of a Lion, tearing him into pieces. How apt an analogy is that for us, who sometimes feel like we are being pulled in so many directions. David gives God two choices. He can either destroy the enemy that stands in front of him, or he can be a shield for David so that he can he continue moving forward. Either way, David knew that with God’s help he would prevail.
God is our refuge and our strength. He is the one we can turn to when we cannot continue on our own. His justice overcomes the wicked and he is a shield for the upright of heart.
What ever is happening in your life these days, take time for a moment of prayer. Turn to God who is your refuge. Take rest in God who will protect you and your loved ones from all harm. Know that God is by your side and will never leave you.
4 thoughts on “Finding Refuge; Saturday in the Fourth Week of Lent”
At this time of self-isolation from COVID-19, this reflection assures me that ultimately God is in control and will not abandon us.
Amen. Hope you had a chance to see Pope Francis’ blessing for the world yesterday.
Thanks for your reflections, Jon. I appreciate how down to earth and relevant you are making the daily readings. I also think Pope Francis’ message yesterday was extraordinary – it really spoke to my heart in the midst of uncertainty and anxiety.
Many thanks Ray. Going to miss having you for Easter.
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