March 30: Catch and Release

So during this pre-Holy Week week we will be preparing ourselves for Holy Week itself, the Triduum and the Easter cycle of celebration itself.  And yes, we will be learning some new Easter vocabulary words as we move towards Easter and a surprise announcement regarding this Lenten reflection daily blog.  But for now, catch and release….

For some, yesterday’s prayer technique of rising the fences may have been too esoteric or too imaginative.  For others perhaps not enough direction in an arena familiar and well traversed.  Well, for the former group today’s related topic may be equally unhelpful, so feel free to skip ahead to tomorrow if so.  But, if not….as a lifetime collector, born with a collector gene, I love groups of things that look the same.  I’ve collected book series my entire life, patches and stamps from national parks, baseball caps, comic books (before they were cool), and other geeky esoterica.  Nothing pleases me more than some collection of anything prominently displayed in order.  I instantly gravitated to the produce department of Winn-Dixie grocery store as a young man because I could order things quickly in a visually appealing way. I am really good at catching….

But equally bad at releasing.  You just never know when you may need that little doohickey ever again, so why not just find a place to store it.  Just more recently am I learning the relief of releasing items I no longer need, but it’s taken a lifetime to get there!  But as bad as I am about releasing things, I’m a thousand times more inept about releasing people.  As we prepare for Holy Week, we are supposed to clean out so we have no distractions to focusing solely upon the saving events in Jesus’ life starting this Sunday.  The single most difficult element of Lent, for me, is forgiveness.  Not the easy kind, but the kind which releases people from the deep wounding they have perpetrated upon my soul.  Jesus proffers absolutely no quarter in this matter….how often did He cut through societal etiquette, norming and ritual to present a challenging perspective of the need to forgive for we who are citizens of the Kingdom of the Heavens?  Too often to recount here, but trust me…a whole lot!  He even forgave His own executioners and at least one of His fellow victims from the cross.  70x7x….infinity!

It’s easy for me to collect and curate my woundedness.  It’s so hard to release it into Jesus’ loving arms for Him to adjudicate as He sees fit, letting go of those who truly wounded me.  And yet, it’s so important to be free of that spiritual bondage because without that forgiveness, I cannot be free in Christ.

  1. Can you choose one person, one moment, one unresolved, one unforgiven, one wound you are curating today?
  2. Using the prayer technique I shared yesterday, can you visit that person, place or moment in supportive, Christ-centered prayer?  This takes courage and fortitude.
  3. Can you, with open hands like yesterday, release that wound and that person, place or moment into the arms of Jesus for Him to adjudicate as He sees fit?  Out loud works fine!

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