Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Palm Sunday Sonnet.

Happy Palm Sunday, everyone. Palm Sunday is one of the most jarring and provocative feasts of the Church, isn't it? Anyone who went to Mass today knows what I mean. Palm Sunday Mass starts with a procession with palms (hence the name) which evokes memories of the triumphal entrance of Christ into Jerusalem. It's a happy, joyous entrance. It's fun. 
But then...
you hear the first reading. And the Psalm. Eloi, eloi, lema sabachthani. G.K. Chesterton said something about the words Christ said on the cross - how terrifying and almost universe-destroying they are - how even the sacred family of the Blessed Trinity was, for a moment, split asunder: "The dreadful moment when God was forsaken by God." Why? Because Christ took our sins on Himself - and at that moment, the Father could not bear to look upon His Son. 
The Bible says there was an earthquake after the Crucifixion. We're lucky that's all there was. But think of the Love of that act. Wow. 
Anyway, I prepared a special treat for my Holy Week update - a poem. Here it is: 

Christ the Carpenter
This plane, now; see its hard and bitter edge? 
It must be so, to bear the flaws away. 
The wood would cringe, though; would it cower and catch
at any excuse to keep this blade at bay? 
There's more to come, though; see these nails I bring; 
some painful strokes; a hammer-tap or two.
The wood, a shuddering, wounded, groaning thing
can only trust, but fears for what I'll do.
It cannot know - it can't - what I intend
Today it only understands the pain
But should I leave it broken? Should I not mend? 
I know its worth - it's good down to its grain
And from that grain I'll make it all anew; 
It must be pierced to stand; and so must you. 

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