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Posts tagged ‘Holy Week’

In the Darkness of the Tomb, there Is Still Hope

Stained glass of the Pieta from the Vatican Library in Vatican City

Stained glass of the Pieta from the Vatican Library in Vatican City

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.

– Anne Lamont

Good Friday Hope

Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.

– George Iles

Let us reach together today

Let us reach together today

Spy Wednesday

One can't murder murder through killing

One can’t murder murder through killing

On “Spy Wednesday” – so called because it is the day before Judas, the traitor, sold Jesus out for a bag of silver, these words from Martin Luther King, Jr., are most appropriate.

Through violence you may murder a murderer but you can’t murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar but you can’t establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can’t murder hate. Darkness cannot put out darkness. Only light can do that.

– Martin Luther King

Prayer is Hope in Action

To clasp hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.

– Karl Barth

new_york_2010_139b

Yesterday’s photo, but with a suggestion of just how we might redeem our cities. Hope in action!

The Magdalen, a Garden and This

olmc_rose2Today’s Lenten poem from Education for Justice is by Kathleen O’Toole.

The Magdalen, a Garden and This

She who is known by myth and association
as sinful, penitent, voluptuous perhaps…
but faithful to the last and then beyond.

A disciple for sure, confused often with Mary,
sister of Lazarus, or the woman caught
in adultery, or she who angered the men

by anointing Jesus with expensive oils.
She was the one from whom he cast out seven
demons—she’s named in that account.

Strip all else away and we know only
that she was grateful, that she found her way
to the cross, and that she returned

to the tomb, to the garden nearby, and there,
weeping at her loss, was recognized,
became known in the tender invocation

of her name. Mary: breathed by one
whom she mistook for the gardener, he
who in an instant brought her back to herself—

gave her in two syllables a life beloved,
gave me the only sure thing I’ll believe
of heaven, that if it be, it will consist

in this: the one unmistakable
rendering of your name.

Source: “The Magdalen, a Garden and This” by Kathleen O’Toole from America
Magazine Vol. 186 No. 11 (4/1/2002).

Simon Peter

bolinas_boatThe Apostle Peter, the fisherman, plays an important role in the drama of Good Friday. Today’s poem from Education for Justice is entitled “Simon Peter” by John Porch.

Simon Peter

There are three things which are too wonderful for me,
Yes, four which I do not understand.
The way of an eagle in the air,
The way of a serpent on a rock,
The way of a ship in the heart of the sea,
And the way of a man with a maid
—Prov. 30:18, 19

I

Contagious as a yawn, denial poured

over me like a soft fall fog, a girl
on a carnation strewn parade float, waving
at everyone and no one, boring and bored
There actually was a robed commotion parading.
I turned and turned away and turned. A swirl
of wind pulled back my hood, a fire of coal
brightened my face, and those around me whispered:
You’re one of them, aren’t you? You smell like fish.
And wine, someone else joked. That’s brutal. That’s cold,
I said, and then they knew me by my speech.
They let me stay and we told jokes like fishermen
and houseboys. We gossiped till the cock crowed,
his head a small volcano raised to mock stone.

II

Who could believe a woman’s word, perfumed

in death? I did. I ran and was outrun
before I reached the empty tomb. I stepped
inside an empty shining shell of a room,
sans pearl. I walked back home alone and wept
again. At dinner. His face shone like the sun.
I went out into the night. I was a sailor
and my father’s nets were calling. It was high tide,
I brought the others. Nothing, the emptiness
of business, the hypnotic waves of failure.
But a voice from shore, a familiar fire, and the nets
were full. I wouldn’t be outswum, denied
this time. The coal-fire before me, the netted fish
behind. I’m carried where I will not wish.

Source: “Simon Peter” by John Poch from America Magazine, Vol. 188 No. 7
(3/10/2003).

Gethsemane

roses_cricket

Today on Holy Thursday we remember, not only the Last Supper, but also Jesus agonizing vigil in Gethsemane. So today’s poem from Education for Justice is by Mary Oliver.

Gethsemane

The grass never sleeps.
Or the rose.
Nor does the lily have a secret eye that shuts until morning.

Jesus said, wait with me. But the disciples slept.

The cricket has such splendid fringe on its feet,
and it sings, have you noticed, with its whole body,
and heaven knows if it even sleeps.

Jesus said, wait with me. And maybe the stars did, maybe
the wind wound itself into a silver tree, and didn’t move,
               maybe
the lake far away, where once he walked as on a
               blue pavement,
lay still and waited, wild awake.

Oh the dear bodies, slumped and eye-shut, that could not
keep that vigil, how they must have wept,
so utterly human, knowing this too
must be a part of the story.

Source: “Gethsemane” from Thirst, by Mary Oliver. Boston: Beacon Press,
2006.