In this season of Lent, the images of desert and wilderness evoke emptiness; yet it is also full of potential and opportunities to be people of God, writes CRA President Sr Ruth Durick osu.
In this season of Lent, we are presented with powerful images which, hopefully, can speak to us as Church at this time.
The images of desert and wilderness evoke emptiness; it is also full of potential. Jesus endured the temptation to power, glory and privilege, none of which he proposes for us as his followers.
Last week we had the image of Jonah in the belly of the whale – an image of being held in the darkness. This oceanic journey was in the darkness of the whale yet within the potential of life which is the sea.
And we have the story of the transfiguration – of the revelation of the Beloved Son and our call to listen to him. We also have the response of grandeur suggested by Jesus’ followers.
As we allow the impact of the Royal Commission to take hold, it is important not to look for quick answers. We can’t have quick fixes which cure, change or heal overnight. Victims have waited in suffering and darkness for a long time. Our call is to sit with them, to listen in their wilderness and to listen to what this wilderness, this journey is calling us to be as church.
The potential of the wilderness is only available to those who take time to look, to listen, to contemplate and to work together. Otherwise we only see barrenness and death. Let’s not be about a doing which consists of ticking a few boxes in order to ‘get back on track’. This journey in the wilderness might help us reconnect with our greater and deeper being as the people of God and help us journey toward who we are meant to be as a community.
Jesus in the wilderness rejected outright the temptation to power and privilege and he also responded to the suggestion of memorial tents with an injunction to not mention the experience. This is what we are called to – to stand with the marginalised, to be with those who need healing, to vision together a future which is welcoming, hopeful and healing and to co-create that future together.