Monday, April 11, 2022

And Here I Stand on Fire: Palm Sunday Passion Reflection


And Here I Stand on Fire

“As they led him away they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian,who was coming in from the country; and after laying the cross on him,they made him carry it behind Jesus.” (Luke 23:26)

 Oh  I know  the story
that somehow  I was seized by the soldiers
                                                                      to walk

behind him

                     the burden of the day  

                                                         heavier by far

than a single bar of wood 

                                            But  I know

how I fell out

                         into the road

as they pulled him along 

My breath caught my throat   constricted

water streaming down my face

                                                    Oh  I know 

He stumbled   he shook

                                        he groaned

and I looked into his bloody eyes 

They never seized me

                                       He did 

I grabbed the wood

                                  I could not lift him

from the dirt   I could not leave

I could only see his back   his legs 


When the stumbling stopped

                                                the beasts

pushed me back  into the crowd

two women wiped my face

held my hands   and stood

                                            with me

until the silence and the dark descended


They brought me to the hall

 Men I did not know made me bathe

drink  what little wine they could spare

 It was not sleep

                          it was a falling into nothing

I could dream


Days and nights made

no difference


Please let me cry this  to you

 Again the air grew warm

we all grabbed each other and leaned

into fear

                the door   disappeared

and I saw

                  His eyes

his eyes

                as steady as a fisher’s net

pulled me to him

                               Again I fell

and never broke the stare


hand upon my head

                                  please let me


        His hand

                           and I said


 And here I stand

                             on fire with his eyes

his hand

                  upon me still


(For the Ordination of Joshua Peters, SJ

20 June 2020)