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Jonathan Lawrence, PhD, associate professor of religious studies and theology, presents our fourth Lenten Reflection this week via a recorded YouTube video (above). Lawrence’s reflection focuses on Psalm 42, the text of which can be read here.

In addition to his reflection, Lawrence is offering up the short video (above), which he produced a few years ago. The video combines photos from his trips to Israel with a recording of his college choir singing “Sicut Cervus.” “The images show the contrast between the stark desert landscape and the rivers of water,” explains Lawrence.

Lastly, Lawrence shares the following prayer (below), written by his friend Rabbi Arlene Goldstein Berger. The prayer is an adaptation of the “Misheberach” prayer, a traditional Jewish prayer blessing.

Misheberach Avoteinu v’Emoteinu…May the one who blessed our Ancestors bless all of us as we transition from a time of illness and fear to health, from a time of despair to a time filled with blessings of wholeness and happiness.

Bless us with the inspiration of the role models from our heritage:

From Abraham – the ability to get up and go to places unknown because of one’s faith;

From Sarah – the ability to receive the gifts of life after she had lost all hope;

From Isaac – the consciousness of love in and for others;

From Rebecca – the ability to make difficult decisions;

From Jacob – the awareness of when to flee and when to stay and fight;

From Leah – the ability to experience life with dignity;

From Rachel – the existence of patience and ingenuity.

May the Eternal One grant us all years of life and peace, in which we may offer thanks and praise to the faithful and compassionate Healer,

For many days to come.

And let us say, Amen.

Jonathan Lawrence has been a faculty member in the Department of Religious Studies and Theology since 2005. He is an ordained American Baptist minister and serves a small congregation in the area.

Submitted by: Rev. Patrick J. Lynch, SJ, Jesuit associate, Mission & Identity