March 18, 2024

Lenten Reflections 2024: Yonette Alexis Stephens

Mercy International Association invites you to our 2024 Lenten series. Each week, from Ash Wednesday February 14  to March 27, 2024, we will be publishing a reflection by members of Mercy Global Action’s Emerging Leaders Fellowship (MELF). Our theme this year is ‘Opening Our Hearts’. We hope you will find light and inspiration in these reflections and that they enhance and support your Lenten prayer and discernment.

Yonette Alexis Stephens, MELF Participant 2023-2024

The presenter for our fifth week of Lent is Yonette Alexis Stephens from the third cohort of the Mercy Global Action Emerging Leaders Fellowship. Alexis is from Guyana and is an Independent Communication Consultant. At the heart of her professional and voluntary work is her passion for social equality,  justice and storytelling.  For her lenten reflection, she offers a Responsive Prayer entitled 'The Door to My Heart is Open'.


Responsive Prayer: The Door to My Heart is Open
Leader: Open wide the door to our hearts, Oh Lord
That there may be room for the stranger.
Help us to shed the layers that shield us 
from the different and the unknown.
All: The door to my hear is open.
Leader: Let the walls come down
that keep us from experiencing the fullness of life
 and connecting with God and others.
Let love flow freely to everyone we meet,
Because they are made in your image and likeness too.
All: The door to my hear is open.
Leader: Help us to create space for the vulnerable 
And to connect with others 
Even though connecting with others requires vulnerability.
When we have been hurt, help us to re-engage.
When we have been harmed, help us to forgive,
And learn to trust again.
All: The door to my heart is open.
Leader Give us compassionate hearts 
that we may see the world 
through a lens of understanding
 and empathy. 
Help us to suspend hasty judgments,
Help us to remember
That the “other” is also a brother or a sister.
All: The door to my heart is open.
Leader: In gratitude, we thank you for blessings
Big and small.
May we always be mindful 
of the abundance all around us, 
And focus less on what we lack.
For we understand that generosity
Towards others is less about what we have,
And more about a willingness give. 
All: The door to my heart is open.
Leader: Help us to grow and be transformed
During this season of Lent.
May we continue to live 
with open hearts and open minds,
For a new beginning awaits!
All Amen!
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