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       Living loss

Lent is a time of stripping things away, that is to say a time of learning to live with loss. There was once a woman who was losing blood. She was known as the bleeder. She met Jesus, touched his coat, and discovered that she was healed. (Lk. 8:43-48)

We are presented with two people who have experienced loss.

The woman was losing blood, that is to say, life was flowing out of her. She became sterile because of the bleeding. On top of that she was judged as being impure and was excluded from society. Loss of fertility, relationships and life.

Jesus lost power, he sensed the energy leaving Him. So he asked, “Who touched me ?” He felt drained. The power that went out of him was beneficial : it healed the woman, her fertility and place in society were restored.

This episode in the Gospel shows us two different ways our losses can be lived : by wasting away like the woman or through the gift of self like Jesus. There can be a way to accept our losses so that they bear fruit. The secret is to consent to live them as a gift of self, as an opportunity to offer oneself freely.

Losses come in many forms : those related to age, illness… Loss of relationships, capacities, autonomy. Loss of work, status, etc. Lent invites us to consider our losses in the light of a new day, no longer as a submission to deterioration but as an opportunity to give oneself fruitfully.

This crucial issue was put to the test at Easter. Jesus did not lose his life, He gave it. And this life that was given became an incredible source of fruitfulness : this is the power of the Resurrection.

What if, this year, the experience of Lent was able to reconcile ourselves with our losses, and reveal the power of Easter at work ?

Sr. Anne Chapell - Angelica n°23 - March 2016

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