In our gospel reading from Matthew today we see Jesus and the apostles heading to Jerusalem. Jesus shares with them a pretty grim picture of what he has to look forward to in Jerusalem. As I contemplate my own journey to Jerusalem I am reminded of a favorite song, Jerusalem, My Destiny. The refrain goes like this.
I have fixed my eyes on your hills, Jerusalem, my destiny!
Though I cannot see the end for me, I cannot turn away.
We have set our hearts for the way;
This journey is our destiny.
Let no one walk alone. The journey makes us one.
Lent calls us to journey with Jesus and each other on our own road up to Jerusalem! What does your journey to Jerusalem look like for you this Lent?! My Lenten journey as a child included the usual ‘giving up’ a favorite dessert, not quarreling with my siblings or being a more obedient daughter to my parents. I think we can all agree the lent of our childhood may seem in retrospect to be much simpler as we view it with adult eyes during this Lenten 2024!
It is my hope and prayer that this Lenten season finds you and me with our eyes fixed on the hills of Jerusalem, our destiny. I pray for the strength and courage to enter into the pain and suffering that awaits each of us as we walk along with Jesus on this journey. May we be willing to die to our busyness and focus on the needs of our suffering sisters and brothers in our communities, families and churches. The gospel message that Jesus preached and calls us to live reminds us that we are called to serve, not to be served. May our Jerusalem journey serve to keep this challenge ever before us this Lent and beyond!
May the Passion of Jesus Christ be always in our hearts!
Theresa Secord is a retired Pastoral Associate at St. Agnes Parish, Louisville, Kentucky.