Fifth Sunday of Lent Cycle C

Our readings for this Sunday, the Fifth Sunday of Lent are here.

Again, these are my notes and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homilies from the

  • 8:30 Mass on March 13, 2016.  


The poem Fr Dennis references is:

In 2016, we reflected on … 

  • Again, we remember our catechumens — this year of 2022, the parish has the possibility of two, so we keep them in prayer.
  • The readings feel a little different than usual.  Normally, we’re a faith of remembrance.  “Remember what God has done” is the norm.  So, why, in these readings, are we being asked to forget?  We need to keep both remembering and forgetting in our hearts, to hold the mystery.  Where there is or was no way, God makes a way.
  • In light of the gospel: Your sins are forgiven, don’t sin anymore; we can breathe a sigh of relief!  We are being given a new birth.  We are made new.
  • In the second reading, Paul’s identification with Jesus is so strong that he wants to suffer with Jesus and receive that joy.
  • Wagoner’s poem, “Lost,” is based on the teachings that Pacific northwest coast Indigenous communities gave their children on what to do if they ever got lost in the forest.  Specifically, Wagoner based it on recounting the story of a conversation between a Native American grandfather and grandson.  God is here in all that we go through, just as God was for Moses and as Jesus (as God) is here for and with us now.
  • David Wagoner died in January of 2021.  Read his NYT Obituary here.  A transplanted Midwesterner, he spent his adult life deepening in the cultures, places, and people of the Pacific Northwest.

Rainey chips in that after our refresher of Laetare Sunday, this Lenten slog to Holy Week feels like being lost in the Lenten woods. Letting go or having people and relationships or activities removed on the journey this Lent, yet trusting God to be present in this place. And when it is time, to walk on with God to a Holy Week of Passion and Resurrection.

We return to the SALT Lectionary Van Gogh image for this week of Van Gogh’s Shoes

That got me musing on these subtler themes of holy ground and holy places in Fr Dennis’ selection of David Wagoner’s poem Lost … and how we move between those moments (even within ourselves!). 

God asks Moses to remove his sandals when on the holy ground … so between those moments, we use … shoes, literal and metaphorical!  Van Gogh’s shoes look like they kept a person close to the ground but protected, as do moccasins.  (The DIA has a number of moccasins in its collection representing the communities from the East Coast to the Rockies; here are some images of the Salish-Kootenai 116th Arlee celebration, the dancers are in full regalia.)  Here is a link to a humorous Nez Perce legend on the creation of moccasins, which captures the comedy of how we humans want to move and how God ultimately would like us to move with God.  And, way back when, how God tenderly clothed us even when we chose to leave the holy ground of Eden (Gen 3:21).

So, my reflection this week will be on what I am carrying that will be let go so I can robe or shod myself with whatever new gift God is giving, one that God is giving for the next portion of the journey.  For now, I will continue to listen to the forest tell me where I am!

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