Friday, April 2, 2010

Triduum and Easter Poems by Roberta Meehan


Triduum poems originally written in 2003, Resurrection written in 1999
Original copyright 2003. Updated © 2010 – Roberta M. Meehan

Holy Thursday

The meal complete, he looks around.
Are they ready? His humanity wonders.
Challenge and pain curl his brow.
And emptiness closes his eyes.
Tightness grips his chest as he surrenders to the moment.

Then back – a slight smile spreads across his lips.
A laugh teeters in his throat.
Now! he thinks. Now! Now is the time.

They look at him – not knowing what to expect.
Wondering what he is thinking, planning….

He reaches for the breadbasket
And pulls it toward himself.
He chooses a small loaflet.
Elbows on the table, piercing dark eyes in a gentle teaching mode….
“Do you know what this is?”

Disbelief shrouds their sighs.
“A remnant of bread?” ventures one.
“From our Passover meal?”
“Not so,” he instructs. “Not so.”
“Think!” He pauses. “Think and watch.”

His attention shifts to his cup.
He toys the edge and again questions them.
“Do you know what this is?”
“Your wine?” One asks.
“You haven’t finished your wine. Do you need more? We have plenty.”

He becomes somber.
“No. Not so. You do not understand. Think. Think and watch.”

He studies the bread – contemplating, visioning.
A serious focus embraces the wine.
Back and forth he gazes, blessing and knowing –
Past and future merge!
Bread and wine converge on NOW!

He holds the bread, intently, carefully.
“This, “ he instructs, “This is my body!”

“Here, take it!” A commanding offer. “Take it and eat it.”
His eyes meet the first and move from one to another.
“All of you! Eat it!” And they do.

He holds his wine cup – studying it, swirling it.
“And this,” he says, “This is the cup of my blood! This is the cup of salvation
Which will be shed for you and for many.
Here. Take this cup and drink from it.”
Again their eyes meet.
“All of you! Drink from it!” And they do.

Solemnity falls on those assembled.
They look each to the other.
They know only vaguely the enormity of what has happened.

He looks lovingly, sadly, at each of them.
“You,” he says. “Now you are my body; now you are my blood!
Furthermore, I tell you to do this. Do this in remembrance of me!
Do this until the end of time! And I am with you!”

He looks down. They become – all of them – one in him and he in them.
And he whispers, “It is finished!”

Good Friday

Beyond reality
Beyond the pain
Nothing matters; fulfilling the mission
“This is why I am here.”
Focus – the journey nears its end.

Why do they scourge me?
Romans – Jews – doesn’t make sense
Who are they? Doing a job
Why do they crown me? Doing a job
Forgive them; forgive them; forgive them.

Where are they? My family, my friends
Last night – I gave them me
Now, where are they? I need them!
Did they leave me?
So alone! Why?

Carrying the cross – heavy – help
Hold the end – thank you
Wipe my face – yes. Thank you.
Grateful – can’t think.
Falling, falling, falling.

Nails, nails, nails –
Support my arms!
Trouble breathing
Ease my pain
Fog my thoughts!

Stripped naked
All of me – hanging from a tree
Nothing hidden – nothing ever hidden
No shame
I am me; stripped as me.

Thirst – terrible thirst
Sweat – blood – no, not gall!
Oh – worse – why – doing a job
They don’t know what they are doing.
Forgive them; forgive them; forgive them.

Crowds mocking me. Friends too.
Scorning me.
Saying terrible things
They don’t know what they are doing.
Forgive them; forgive them; forgive them.

Two men here
One understands – he’ll be with me
The other doesn’t know.
Forgive him; forgive him; forgive him.

Family and friends
I see some now.
My mother – my beloved
Others too
Hold each other! Love each other! Love each other!

Am I forsaken?
Am I delirious?
Take my spirit!
Forgive them!
It is finished!

Holy Saturday

The barren cross bespeaks the truth.
He is gone; he is not here.
Unfilled promises and empty dreams
Engulf and strangle the ones who are near.

Behind the rock his body lies
Entombed in silence in a borrowed grave,
Stilled from life, alone in a shroud,
Transcending time but ensouling the now.

What did he teach them, and what did they learn?
How could he leave them forlorn and afraid?
He taught them to love; he gave them himself.
He instilled in them hope and a reason to be.

They look around and try to make sense
Of the emptiness and their fear-filled lives.
They try to make sense of his cross and his death.
They try to make sense of the time they have lost.

They look around and try to make sense
Of the Passover meal, the bread and the wine.
It’s all a blur, they feel so lost.
Nothingness fills the sorrowing, empty day.

They wait in agony to go to the tomb
To mourn, to sit, to hope, and to pray.
Their loss on this Sabbath is much more profound.
His echoing words – for whom was this Sabbath made?

They’ll go in the morning to prepare his remains.
There is nothing left of this Sabbath of God.
He gave himself in the bread and the wine.
He gave himself in his death on the cross.

And now they wait for the promise of life,
For the promise of hope in the bread and the wine,
For the promise he gave to always be near.
Could they find meaning in his death on the cross?


"Where is he?" Desperate scream --
Anguished widow-church at the empty tomb

Her Self detached
-- as stark reality impaled her
-- as emptied bowels contorted her.

The oneness they were
The embodiment of unity -- the bounds of creation
Diversity branching from unity -- divinity ensouling humanity

She was his beloved - his moment of creation.
This is my body!
And she consumed him and he was hers.

The hope, the kingdom,
The church they would build
The promises -- dashed and broken

Hanging from the cross
Crushed and buried
This is my body!

And now -- wrenched from her very soul
Even his body -- no more --
Taken -- this last violation.

Alone -- too drained for fear, she moved
Each step bearing the weight of the unsaved world.

"Mary!" She turned.

Involution of unclaimed brilliance
Exploded in one majestic NOW.

Their eyes met
Joy erupted from the very fonts of their beings.
Reaching fingers touched.

And once more -- divinity engulfed humanity.
This is my body!

Resurrection Revision -- ©2009 Roberta M. Meehan

copyright updated in 2010

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