Vocation Blog

Story:  Several years ago, Zenobia, a young woman arrested for drug possession, was brought into the courtroom for a hearing.  Zenobia had stood before this judge several times prior to this.  He knew of her past history and of her battle with her addictions.  We sat hopeful that this time she could get some help and be given the opportunity for long-term drug rehabilitation and mental health counseling.  Her public defender presented her case and made the recommendation for drug rehab in lieu of incarceration. 

            To our dismay, the judge began lecturing her in this loud voice for all in the courtroom to hear and then had her handcuffed, sentenced to nine months in prison and concluded with “It would have been better if you had never been born”

            Just last week Zenobia called me and asked me if I remembered that day.  She talked about how much the judge had hurt her and how she didn't know how to deal with such a remark.  There are lots of stones thrown in our courtrooms and lots of permanent damage done.

            Months ago, Adolfo, one of the thousands of youth in United States sentenced as children to “Life without Parole”, had a chance to be re-sentenced and hopefully get a chance for freedom after being incarcerated for more than 20 years.  There in front of many “Scribes and Pharisees” and TV cameras, humiliating and demoralizing words were spoken and the accusers did not walk away until all their “stones” were thrown.  Adolfo and his supporters then waited for two weeks hoping against hope for a possible outdate – a possibility of one day being free. 

            But no, the day came and Adolfo was handed down a sentence of “natural life”.  He put his head down and wept.  His supporters in the courtroom gasped at this pronouncement and left the courtroom carrying emotions of sadness and anger and dismay.

            Bryan Stevenson writes about a lady who is a “stonecatcher” in his book Just Mercy.  Fr. Kelly told her beautiful story in his First Sunday of Lent Reflection.  This is a lady who sits in the courtroom to “catch the stones” people hurl at each other.  She says, “There is lots of pain in here.  . . .  It hurts to catch all them stones people throw.” 

            We so need a “Stonecatcher Lady.”

 

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Ckick below for:

Reflection

Scripture Passages to Reflect on Daiy

Lenten practices for this week

This Week’s Daily Prayer

This Week’s Point How might I be transformed this Lent if I intentionally became aware of stone throwing and became a stonecatcher.

This week's author is Donna Liette, C.PP.S., a Sister of the Precious Blood.  She is a member of the team working at the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation. She has been a volunteer with Kolbe House at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center for over five years. 

 For more information about Kolbe House, visit www.kolbehouseministry.org

Reflection:  Our Gospel on this Fifth Sunday of Lent is such a powerful story to hear during this Jubilee Year of Mercy because we see Jesus showing us how to be about offering tenderness and compassion.  He knows the Scribes and Pharisees are testing him.  Is He be about throwing the stones or catching the stones? 

            Jesus gently threw it back to them,  I don't believe that he wanted to harm them, but rather to challenge them and invite them also to join the Circle of Mercy.   But they walked away.  I wonder what would have happened if they had stayed and witnessed the mercy and tenderness of Jesus. 

            I wonder what would happen if I would put my stones down and became more aware of my own stone throwing,  How might I be transformed this Lent if I intentionally became aware of stone throwing and became a stonecatcher?  Will my hands be sore at the end of Lent?  

            I thank God in a new way this Lent for catching my stones and granting me forgiveness and second chances.  May I not walk away when I need to face my own sinfulness.  May I learn this Lent to stand humbly as I watch Jesus offer mercy to me and to others who come to Him as well as to those who have been sent to Him for condemnation.  

 

 

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Scripture Passages To Reflect On This Week

 

   John 8: 1-11        Story of the Woman to be stoned

 

   Joel 2:12-13                 God is slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment

 

   Matthew 9:13     “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’
                                For I came not to call the righteous, but to call sinners.”

 

   Psalm 17           “But I in justice shall behold your face;

                                     on waking I shall be content in your presence."

 

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Lenten Practices for This Week

·   Offer a simple gesture of kindness to someone today.

 

·   Lift someone up who has just been put down and discouraged.

 

·   Read the story of the stonecatcher from Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (p.307-309)

 

·   Reread the Gospel story again of the woman to be stoned.  (John 8: 1-11).

 

·    Sit in a courtroom for a morning and feel the pain – be a stonecatcher.  Often times, court is so filled with adversity and pain, that just saying hello or good morning as you walk through that halls is a gift – both to others and to yourself. 

 

·   Read  Just Mercy.  Write in your journal for 15 minutes about how your feel about what you've read..  What did you read that you strongly agree with?  What did you read that you strongly disagree with?  Write  down whatever comes into your mind.   Don't worry about spelling or grammar.  Keep your hand moving. 
     This writing is for your eyes only.  You will not be asked to share it with or show it to anyone.  Write legibly because you will be asked to  read your journal as a Lenten practice for Holy Week.


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This Week’s Daily Prayer

Adapted from the prayer of our Pope Francis for the Jubilee of Mercy

 

O God,

Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be year of grace from the Lord.

May we, your Church, be filled with renewed enthusiasm.

May we bring good news to the poor,

proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed

and restore sight to the blind. 

Amen.

 

 

This Week’s Point:  How might I be transformed this Lent if I intentionally became aware of stone throwing and became a stonecatcher? 

 

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This week's author is Donna Liette, C.PP.S., a Sister of the Precious Blood.  She is a member of the team working at the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation. She has been a volunteer with Kolbe House at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center for over five years. 

For more information about Kolbe House, visit www.kolbehouseministry.org

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