(Adapted from Henri Nouwen)

Beloved Jesus: You were once condemned; you are still being condemned. You once carried your cross; you are still carrying your cross. You once died; you are dying still. You once rose from the dead; you are still rising from the dead, in all that you have made.

We look at you, and you open our eyes to the ways in which your passion, death, and resurrection are happening among us every day, in all of your creation, not just in the human realm. But within us there is a deep fear of looking at our own world and its desecration. You say to us: “Do not be afraid to look, to touch, to heal, to comfort, and to console.” We listen to your voice, and, as we enter more deeply into the painful, but also hope-filled lives of our fellow beings, human and non-human, animate and inanimate, we know that we enter more deeply into your heart.

Our fears, dear Savior, of opening our eyes to your suffering creation are deeply rooted in our own anxious hearts.

We are not sure that we are truly loved and safely held, and so we keep my distance from other creatures’ fear-filled lives. But again you say: “Do not be afraid to let me look at your wounded heart, to embrace you, to heal you, to comfort and console you… because I love you with a love that knows no bounds and poses no contradictions.”

Thank you, Jesus – God – for speaking to us. We do so desire to let you heal our wounded hearts and, from there, to reach out to others close by and far away, In all realms of creation, across the whole web of life. We know, Savior, that you are gentle and humble of heart and that you call out: “Come to me, you who labor and are overburdened, who try too hard and worry too much, and I will give you rest.”

As your passion, death, and resurrection continue in history around the whole globe, give us the hope, the courage, and the confidence to let your heart unite our hearts with the hearts of all your suffering creation, and so become for us the divine source of new life.