Easter Friday

The seed
sown in good soil
dies, yet gives life
thirty, sixty, one hundred times over.

Some seed
will scatter, be lost,
when cares and trials come
to choke, to scorch like sun’s temptation.

Yet seed
which dies gladly
is more than seed, more than earth,
more than the narrowness of our dust’s conceptions…

Easter Thursday

And He reigns!

He reigns in light and in quiet,

in death and in life,

in depth and in height.

 

He reigns in plenty,

He reigns in drought.

He reigns in our faith, reigns in our doubt

and nothing is too big for Him

who rose from death a shining King…

 

Put to death your anguished griefs:

the king who died now lives again

and all time’s tattered woes and fears

can no longer bind His faithful sons.

Easter Wednesday

Some wise men follow, some betray;
some see the star, some walk astray.
Some kings will bow, some kings will kill;
some men will starve, some have their fill.
Some hearts will turn to rock; some stones
will call in praise before His throne.
Our folly becomes wise in Him;
bow down, world’s wise men; know your king.

(Image: Sassetta Giovanni, “Journey of the Magi”)

Easter Tuesday

800px-STP-ELP19

It shatters; it transfigures:

from dust, His kingdom

lifts up dust, exalts our frame,

remembers, changes, in His name,

breathes new life into dry bones,

reanimates the dead.

 

Eleven dusty men, arise:

the mountain-top reveals your king.

All authority given Him,

He gives to you. Lift feeble feet;

He gives His message now to you.

The kingdom – shout it! – now is here.

 

Amidst the dust of here and now,

be its hands and feet.

Lent 43: Wednesday of Holy Week

Caravaggio - The Denial of Saint Peter
Caravaggio – The Denial of Saint Peter

 

But listen as they question Him;

listen as they plot and lie.

Listen: by the fireside,

Peter lies and cries.

 

Watch as, dust, we crumble down;

watch the Son of Man, betrayed,

tell the truth, secure His death

and die for dust He made.

 

Has anything like this been seen?

The eternal enters time,

ascending thrones, accepting death,

fracturing rhyme.

Lent 42: Tuesday of Holy Week

Detail from Giovanni di Paolo, "Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane", Wikimedia Commons
Detail from Giovanni di Paolo, “Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane”, Wikimedia Commons

 

Yet dust we are we cannot stay

awake and pray (the flesh is weak)

and dust we are we walk away

and hide ourselves in dull deceit.

 

And dust He is yet more than dust

transfigured with the Father’s grief;

our dust He takes up to the Cross

and dies beside a thief.

Lent 41: Monday of Holy Week

Detail from Juan de Juanes, "The Last Supper", Wikimedia Commons
Detail from Juan de Juanes, “The Last Supper”, Wikimedia Commons

 

And now         we lift

this bread,      this wine

born from dust,

tilled in soil,

 

fermented,

kneaded,

 

baked: now break

 

this bread

and rend

 

your hearts, your hands.

 

You look

one to another,

say,

 

“Not I?” Yet surely you, before

the night

is done

will swear

you did not ever eat this bread.

 

This bread     for you

is broken.

 

This blood      for you

is spilt.

Lent 39: Saturday of Fifth Week

Sit with Him; eat with Him;

dip the bread, by His side –

Surely Lord not I?

 

Walk with Him through olive trees;

fall asleep and fail to pray;

watch as one of you betrays –

Surely Lord not I?

 

Warm yourself by cosy fires;

answer truth with spitting lies;

listen as the cock crows; Thrice

you will deny me. Adamant:

Surely Lord not I?

 

Watch as thorns are made His crown;

see the dice cast for His clothes;

see them spit and mock and dance;

see them cast their king aside;

Surely Lord, surely Lord,

surely Lord, not I?

 

See Him breathe with aching breath;

see Him lift Himself and gasp;

see Him turn His gaze to sky;

see Him ask in agony:

Forgive them, Father, they know not

what they do. See; watch and weep:

Surely Lord, surely Lord,

surely, Lord, not I?

 

See Him cast death, weak, aside;

see Him take on life and rise.

See Him lift the cursed ones too

and take them through His life and death;

see Him give His death to them

and give His life and give His pain

and give His life to live again.

Surely Lord, surely Lord,

surely, Lord, not I?

Lent 38: Friday of Fifth Week

20140411-072324.jpg

Look:
see the woman with her oil and hair;
see His feet (they’re not yet scarred);
see the gasp upon your face;
see His searching eyes.

Listen:
He spoke to you of the Son of Man;
He spoke of death and burial;
He spoke of Passover, exodus;
He spoke; you did not hear.

Learn:
He stands to tell you all the truth;
He stands beside the lavish act;
He stands against what we expect;
He stands soon in our place.

Lent 37: Thursday of Fifth Week

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

 

Look, the shepherd separates:

sheep from goats He divides,

bone and marrow He prises open,

hearts’ deep secrets He dissects.

 

Look, the true ones walk

through streets and feed the poor.

The children give their food to dogs,

the princes clothe the naked…

 

Look; deep inside, now look.

Secret acts reveal our secret thoughts.

When none around you look, He sees.

The shepherd separates.