by Tria O’Maille, ISP Cleveland

reflecting with the Gospel for May 10th, John 16:20-23 , and the song “You Will Be Found” (One Voice Children’s Choir) from the Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen.

Getting lost can be a fearful experience, and so can losing something or someone. There can be a longing over a loss that fills the body, mind, and soul with anguish. All of us have some experience of loss, from the annoying misplacement of keys to being cut from our place in line to the depths of losing sobriety of any kind, a loved one, or a life direction.

The Gospel for May 10th shares the anguish felt by the apostles as they are about to lose Jesus a second time. The first time was at his death and this second time as he prepared to ascend to his Father after his resurrection. He assures them that the anguish they experience over his departure will be transformed in finding a new way.

This year’s ISP Easter journey is an invitation to find a new way and be found. See how Jesus went to find his apostles after his resurrection, for they were lost and scattered. Mary Magdalene went to find Jesus, and instead she was found by him, only then to be sent to share the new way as the first apostle.

Easter is a season of finding new life, a season of finding and being found. We get lost in many ways along our journey, physically from our own bodies, mentally from our emotions, or spiritually from our Higher Power and wisdom. All these losses can evoke fear and further loss of relationships, jobs, homes, loved ones, and new opportunities for growth and well-being.

ISP for 25 years now has been a loving community reaching out to those feeling lost to addictions or some other source of pain. We all know everyone is or has hopes of recovering from something! The response to this invitation to be “found” has brought us to safe spaces where we can find our lost selves and be found by a Higher Power who has been lovingly waiting for us.

How relieved and joyful we are when we find what we have lost. How grateful we are when we have even a hope that all is not lost and whatever is lost now has potential for finding a new way back to us.

The anguish of many in the ISP community has been transformed into joy through participation in spiritual reflections and retreats. Many have found gifts and talents in themselves never imagined. Some have found that gift to be leaders in the ISP community as Ambassadors of Hope, inviting others into the prayer style of Ignatius and the life of the 12 Steps.

Finding and losing can happen many times in our lives. The journey can bring suffering and anguish. Healing and recovery is not easy, but, when we are found, we are not alone. God our Higher Power longs to find and comfort us. The Holy one desires to calm our anguish and expand our joy. We are God’s delight. It is our choice then to respond to God’s invitation, to trust that the Higher Power is with us always. Even when it feels like we are lost and anguish returns, this promise remains: “So you also now are in anguish, but I will be with you again, and your hearts will rejoice…for I am with you always…”

Easter is a time to rejoice in finding and being found. I rejoice gratefully for being found by a Loving God and finding the ISP community.

Reflection Questions: What are the most important or impactful moments of your life when you have lost someone or something? What have been the times when your most cherished people or things have been found? When have you been found? How does your Higher Power factor into those experiences?

Tria is a retired Dance/Movement Therapist who lives with her husband in Euclid, Ohio. She has been with the Cleveland women’s ISP team since 2019 and has just participated in the second cohort of ISP’s Ambassadors of Hope.