“God himself will set me free from the hunter’s snare.”
This is the usual Lenten Responsory during Morning Prayer for the weekdays of Lent.
All of us have at one point or another felt trapped. Ultimately the snare is sin and the hunter is the devil. This is what Jesus came to free us from via His death and resurrection. The trap manifests itself in all sorts of ways.
Ever feel trapped in circumstances, in a relationship, in a job, in a particular sin? The Lord seeks to free us from that trap.
A number of years ago, this Lenten Responsory Psalm had a particular relevance in my life as I felt very much trapped in a particular situation. And quite frankly I could not see a way out. Every day I said that prayer, it was a heartfelt and fearful cry to the Lord to set me free, to show the way out. Shortly after Easter that same year, I was in church praying, beseeching the Lord. During my prayer as I gazed around the church, my eyes drifted to the large framed picture of the Divine Mercy set up on a stand to the right of the sanctuary, settling on the words at the bottom of the image: “Jesus I trust in you.” And that became my ongoing prayer/cry. Not long after, the Lord did “set me free from the hunter’s snare.”
I dare say there’s not an adult around who hasn’t felt trapped, who hasn’t felt ensnared, who hasn’t been able to see a way forward. To all of us, the Lord offers an invitation to come to Him, to seek Him, to trust Him, to let Him free us from the hunter’s snare.
Next Saturday at the Easter Vigil in Catholic churches throughout our Diocese and the world, men and women will literally be freed from the hunter’s snare, placing their full trust in the Lord, in receiving the Sacrament of Baptism and being welcomed into the Catholic Church.
St. Faustina, to whom the image of Divine Mercy was revealed, encouraged everyone to seek the mercy of God. In particular, referring to the Sacrament of Confession, that “fount of mercy,” she wrote: “Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy… .”
Divine Mercy Sunday is April 24. Here’s an invitation to all in our world, especially those in one way or another trapped in “the hunter’s snare,” to seek the one who came to set us free.
Jesus, I trust in you.
—Deacon Phil Lawson, executive director of pastoral ministries for the Diocese of Burlington.
—Originally published in the March 26-April 1, 2022, edition of The Inland See.