Holy Wednesday

 

Wednesday of Holy Week seems one of the days orphaned from its ritual parents. Swung soundlessly between  the arms of Palm Sunday and Maundy Thursday it feels unmarked in my community.    I understand the text of anointing with spikenard is often associated with this day in the liturgy and the negotiations of Judas Iscariot with the Sanhedrin.  So, following my earlier post of the I offer again these words to breathe as Christ breathes,  to touch the world’s joys and betrayals.

Sorrowing and Creating One,
You know

There has been so much taking
Of life
Of trust
Of sparkle
Of hands touching
Of dignity.

There has been so much injury
Of body
Of words
Of love
Of home
Of hope.

There have been so many images
Fast and slow
Vivid and grainy
Repetitious
and static
and terrible

And so much closing
Of minds
Of hearts
Of borders
Of doors
Of eyes.

So, we are here

For You
still
Holy

in the midst of us

We touch
in a heart beat
as we are touched.

We breathe
healing we are graced to grace with
we receive
and carry
gently as a warm egg

into these days.

The Skin and Heart of It

It’s the day after the vivid day of palms; and I stand on the edge of emptiness, in the aftermath that is also preparation.  I hold what keeps me tethered to the movement that will free me.  I turn, as I so often do in this time, to a text I can feel in my fingertips, in the palms of my hands and in my heart.  I turn to a story of the woman anointing Jesus (Mark 14: 3-9)

I turn today holding the sight of fragile bodies attacked by gas, or guns, people walking over borders in snow, single suitcases carrying a lifetime.  I turn holding the sight of women spare as cursive, curved over their beloved starving children.  I can feel this text too in my fingertips.

I enter this week when the fragile, broken body of the Compassionate One will bend over the beloved world, the skin and heart of it, and I enter it through this story.

This text we may read and pray is for me such a strong affirmation of our bodies and our beings and the gifts we bring to one another.  An affirmation also of Love’s insistence that we listen to the holy depth within us, listen to know that particular part of ourselves we are called to pour out over the body of Christ and the skin of the world.

This is a text that describes such risk and audacity.  Who would imagine that poured perfume would be the perfect gift for that particular moment of Love’s life?  Who but you and the one to whom you give it can know the holiness of your gift?

We stand on the lip of Holy Week and I long for us to enter that week in response to Love’s call.  Each of us will enter carrying our own jar.  Each of us will pour it out on the worn skin of compassion in a particular way.  We find the way that allows us to stay close. We search the offering that knows and soaks each holy day in a way that may transform it.

We find some small audacious or quiet way to honour the One who will suffer, suffer not to grimly pay some debt, to complete some awful transaction, but to be in our bodies and consciousness the fullest experience of a life lived, of Love, in joy and in anguish.

You can read Mark 14: 3 – 9 here  http://bible.oremus.org

You may enter it more deeply through the following meditation.

The Hollow in our Hearts

Petals on cobblestones Pixabay

Here we are on the edge of Holy Week.  The parade is over; wrappers and tattered banners still blow down the empty streets.  Some have stuck their palm fronds in the planters round the lamp posts. Some have forgotten their coats and there is a tiny sneaker on the curb.  The air has caught silence like the vibrations of a soundless bell.   Something is upon us.  We are called to make space, a home in us, which becomes, as this One is, for the world.

 

Under all our attempts at triumph
You have found us Love.
Ridden through our small glories
On a thick-haunched colt

In our particulars
Our skin, our bone
Our fading memories, our sprung hopes

You have come out to find us.