Yesterday we participated in the 5th annual Good Friday Ecumenical Prayer Walk. Under the leadership of the Just Faith initiative at Ascension Catholic Church in Melbourne, Florida and Mary Kay Kantz, a group of area ministers gathered to plan and carry out the first Ecumenical Prayer Walk. It has grown over the years. Over 350 participated yesterday. This marked our third year of participation because the Walk gives relevance and meaning to what Good Friday is all about today. The subtheme of the Walk is, “Where Is Jesus Suffering Today?” There are eight stations on the Walk and in this and future posts I will try to give some understanding about the significance of each station. These posts will serve as good reflections on the meaning of the Risen Christ. Tomorrow we proclaim from the rooftops that the Cosmic Christ is Risen; therefore, we, the Body of Christ, have the responsibility to find Christ where He is suffering today and do His work of alleviating human misery and suffering.
The first station is at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Melbourne, Florida. After singing “This is the day the Lord has made,” we sang the same refrain which we would repeat at each station: We are standing on Holy Ground
And I know there are angels all around
Let us praise Jesus now
We are standing in his presence on Holy Ground.
Yes. Each station was Holy Ground indeed and the Risen Christ was there bringing healing and hope. I could not help but think that Pope Francis I was also walking with us this year because he has been carving out new Holy Ground since his election.
At each station, the question was posed, “Lord Jesus, we are searching for you. Where are you suffering today?”
The response at the first station—Our Lady of Lourdes Church-was:
Look for me among those who are unable to hear my voice in a world full of “absurdity and aimlessness,” noise and distraction. Look for me in a world where the sound of violence and greed silences the cry of the poor. Look for me among those who are too busy to seek my presence. Look for me among the self-centered and the prejudiced who are blind to the reality of their call as neighbor. Look for me among those who are beneath the notice of the world—too poor, too ill, too sinful, too powerless. Seek me there and you shall find me.
Meditate on these carefully crafted words. They are powerful. In response we sang, “Have mercy, O Lord, Have mercy on us!”
Parts of the Twenty-second Psalm were read at each station. A minister or representative from a different church organization then offered a prayer to which we said a response.
At the first station, after responding “Lord Jesus, slain and resurrected, hear our prayer for the poor,” we said a Franciscan prayer:
God, bless me with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships,
so that you will live deep in my heart.
Go, bless me with anger at war, injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people and the earth,
so that I will work for justice, equity, and peace.
God, bless me with tears to shed for those who suffer
so that I will reach out my hand to comfort them and change their pain to joy.
God, bless me with the foolishness to think that I can make a difference in the world,
so that I will do the things which others say cannot be done. (Author unknown)
I hope these reflections encourage you to live the Easter message of service and hope.