Note: First posted on April 7, 2020 under the title A-Lenten-Prayer-a-Day, Day 36, Tuesday in Holy Week and, here, given nearly a year of further reflection and additional aging, slightly revised.
On a day’s reflection on the restlessness of yesterday’s early morn (being a meditation on Mark 14.7 and John 6.5-13)
O Lord, daily I feel afresh my frailty.
Especially during these viral-times of isolation, I do not have, always and in all ways, the wealth of strength or sense or substance to serve my sisters and brothers in need, whether near or far.
Yet I remember the words of Your Son: “You always have the poor with you and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish.”
O Lord, alway pour Your Love into my heart that I have kindness for all who suffer and that I may be kind, doing whatever I can whenever I can with whatever I have for whomever is in need.
O Lord, alway teach me to trust that You, with whatever I offer, great or small, as that child with but five loaves and two fish, can feed our hunger.
© 2021 PRA
Illustration: The miracles of the loaves and fish, Jacob de Backer (1555-1591). Note: de Backer depicts that moment in the Gospel according to St. John when, in preparation for the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to (Jesus), “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish.”
2 thoughts on “A Prayer for Tuesday in Holy Week”
I don’t think I’ve ever really thought about always having the poor with me and being able to help them whenever I wish. I do keep change and small bills in my car and will give it when I see people in need… but I’ve definitely felt the exhaustion over not having enough to give help to everyone who needs it.
Thank you for these words. I reflected on this a lot yesterday, just forgot to write it down.
Loretta, the context of Jesus’ saying is his having been anointed with expensive alabaster ointment. The disciples complain that the woman who did so has wasted a valuable commodity, which could have been sold and the money given to the poor. Jesus tells his disciples to “leave her alone,” for she “has anointed by body for burial” (thus, an allusion to his coming death). It is here that Jesus commends that, as the poor are always present, we can serve them whenever we wish…
Some, sadly and, I believe, wrongly, have interpreted Jesus’ saying to mean that, as the poor always are around, we need do little to nothing. In a word, the problem of the poor can’t be fixed…
Some focus on Jesus’ prediction of his death (“you will not always have me”) and, thus, overlook to the word about the poor.
I tend to view his teaching as on-point, that is, yes, our sisters and brothers who dwell in poverty always will be (where? over there? out of sight? no!) with us. Hence, we are called to serve in whatever ways we can. Principally, I believe, our corporate, communal efforts are better, for there is only so much that we, as individuals, can do.