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First, Read or Listen:

Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth your right hand to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Look:

At this image of artwork on the altar frontal at the Church known as Dominus Flevit, or “The Lord Wept,” on the Mount of Olives.  In this mosaic representation, a mother hen spreads her wings protectively over her tiny chicks. What is your overall impression of this piece?  Now look more deeply at a portion of the work that calls for your attention. Specifically, what do you see? What do you feel?

Reflect:

Today’s Collect states the truth that we human beings are fragile, needy and susceptible to dangers, from both internal and external sources. In many ways, like the tiny chicks in the image, we do need the protection of mighty wings and steadfast love.  As we pray, we ask for the Divine Presence to be especially available to us, so that our very lives may be safeguarded. If we are truly aware of our vulnerability, we turn in prayer to the source of strength that maintains us every day.

Act:

Today, be aware that while all human beings are subject to dangers, vulnerability is not equitably distributed among all persons, races and tribes.  There are many, many persons at the margins of our society and in the world…suffering from poverty, illness, isolation, racism and hatred.   Even though we may be like chicks, we have the capacity to be also like the mother hen. As a follower of the Jesus Movement, consider taking some action today to make the world more just, more compassionate.  Identify what you can do, just one small step…and do it!

Thanks for taking part in New and Contrite Hearts. Your comments are very welcome—let others know what you saw and experienced. Until next time, may you have a most blessed Lent.

Music: “Ambient Sonata” /Album:  Ambient Sonata /Artist: Dee Yan-Key

Image: “Mother Hen” /Place:  Altar, Church of Dominus Flevit (The Lord Wept), The Mount of Olives /Photographer: Jon Shematek