Visio Divina for 2/23/12 – “Harrowing of Hell” – Day 2 (Seeing)


Return to God’s word for the purpose of “hearing and seeing” Christ in the text. Fix your gaze on the illumination. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart and enable you to see what God wants you to see.


As I fix my gaze upon the illumination with the eyes of faith, I see chaos – lifeless forms and shapes in various colors, coming and going in all directions.  I see green branches that remind me of the palm fronds held high in our hands on Palm Sunday as we welcome Jesus into Jerusalem shouting, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!  Peace on earth, and glory in the highest heaven!”  And then just a few days later on Good Friday, we all cry out in a loud voice, “Crucify, crucify him!”  These same palm fronds we save in our homes throughout the year and then take them back to our parish churches the next year on Shrove Tuesday so that they may be burned to make the ashes to be used to mark our foreheads on Ash Wednesday as a reminder of our mortality, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”  The green in this illumination giving way to the black marks – us – ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

But encasing this chaos, is the strong, gold wall that is Jesus.  Christ Jesus reaching into this chaotic world and showing us freedom by making a way out of ‘no way’, out of our ‘troubles’, showing us a better way if only we believe, opening up the path to eternal light and life.  Baptism into the Lord Jesus is only the first step, “an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ”.  The next step is to call upon the Lord and to trust as we walk the pilgrim’s way.  The gold is there for us! 

– Fr Kirtley Yearwood

© Harrowing of Hell, Suzanne Moore, 2011. The Saint John’s Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota.  Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, © 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

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