Monday, June 30, 2003

Meditation on Christ's Passion

When you prayed in the garden, Lord,
and the heaviness pressed all around you
as the full moon's light peaked through the olive trees,
and your apostles snored in the shadows,
and you sweated blood in the depths of your grief,
how heavy did today weigh on your shoulders,
with a war-torn world,
mad with bloodlust,
despising your peace,
hot with hatred and selfish fulfilment
sometimes done in the name of God,
or done in the name of self,
careless with all you have taught?

When they tied you to the pillar, Lord,
and scourged you in the Roman way,
a beating so severe that it alone could take a life,
as the weights at the ends of the whips,
and the heavy slap of the leather tore your flesh,
did you see the babies ripped for profit,
the innocents blown up to make a political statement,
the slaughtered millions killed
because they belonged to the wrong class,
or bloodline,
or culture
or faith
or country?
Which gave you the most pain,
the cruel leather,
or the knowlege how we would reject you?

When you walked that long walk
with the heavy crossbeam tied to your hands
as they paraded you and the others
to the Place of the Skull
amid a phalanx of proud and hard Roman soldiers
who hated the noise and the crowd and the foreignness
of it all,
and took out their spite by tugging your bonds
and watching you fall with arms extended,
and when you saw your Mother there,
and the aching pain passed between you,
did you see all the other mothers
aching in their pain for what evildoers would do
to their sons and daughters in the days to come,
mothers of the disapeared,
mothers of political prisoners,
mothers of those slain by bombers,
mothers of the beaten and kidnapped,
mothers looking for children buried in mass graves,
mothers who watch their children starve for others'

When they nailed you to the cross,
and hung you up to die the slow death
reserved for slaves and foreign traitors,
gradual suffocation
in hot, aching, painful breaths,
did our evil make the pain that much harder?
Did our lack of mercy and love
echo down the centuries like a pressing weight
making your sacrifice all the more painful?

And yet, still you managed to love us,
and gave us all you had left,
your mother,
your compassion,
your heart's blood.

Dear Lord,
Forgive us!

Susan E. Stone © 2003


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