Easter Vigil

light(I wrote this as a post-communion reflection for our vigil service this year.)

Not a fairy tale, or myth,
But a legacy of Grace.
A history of faithfulness and patience
In the face of perpetual infidelity –
A stubborn people broken,
Shattered into pieces,
The result of brittle hearts.

We are part of the story.
Woven into our lives a scarlet cord of blood,
Links us to those who dared to hope,
To trust that there was more,
That the eternal cry –
Written into our DNA,
And pulsing through our veins –
Would be answered.

In broken trust and deception,
We fell prey to a con-artist of the highest order –
One who took what we already had,
Made us feel bad,
And sold it back to us at an extortionate price.
Suffice to say, we complied –
And lost everything.

Yet The Word who spoke it all into being,
Seeing this, before it took place,
Wove Grace into the narrative.
Pre-empting our loss,
Already the cross in His heart,
That this parting would not be permanent –
He brokered re-union
Through broken flesh and blood,
To restore us in heavenly communion.

His status surrendered –
Abundantly patient
He walked alongside us,
Proclaiming the truth of our identity as
Children of God,
Until, gripped by fear,
He had a choice –
Turn back and give up, leave us behind –
Or walk to a brutal, bloody death.
“Yet, not my will but yours!” He said.

With breath constricted,
As the agony of inflicted separation tore him apart –
So His heart stopped,
That ours and our Creator’s might once again beat in step.

His blood pours forth.
He takes my place.
And I am floored by this incomprehensible love
That sacrificed, not just his body to the pain,
But his Spirit
To the yawning distance of
Disconnection with the Father
His loss –
My gain
That by his broken body
I am made whole.
And in the shedding of his precious blood,
That scarlet cord entwines me and my God
For all eternity.

In the solemn stillness ‘twixt death
And resurrection –
A realisation of my freedom,
This perfect kingdom,
And the hope it brings –
Makes my heart sing,
As the well of gratitude bubbles up and out of me –
I will not hold back these tears of joy,
As I behold my Christ, my peace, my dignity.

Dignity Recovered

Dignity is precious.
Not only for the ‘special few’, who
Can afford to hide behind titles
Or prizes, the dignitaries and VIPs
Most visible on TV’s and cinema screens,
Reasonably lamenting their lack of privacy –
But for all of us,
Big or small of heart or stature.

This dignity is inherent,
Neither borrowed or lent,
But given to us by our maker,
Creator of all,
Definitely not small,
Though personal –
He calls us “Daughters”,
Calls us “Sons”,
And won our freedom for us
At terrible cost,
And the cross – a most undignified death,
Where breath was surrendered,
Battle ended,
Our wounds mended –
Where heaven kissed earth,
New life was birthed
And we are offered Hope,
As we recover our identities.

For where hope reigns –
Where identity recovers,
There is dignity realised.

In full: Lord Sacks speech that brought Vatican conference to its feet


This is a beautiful speech on the importance of marriage and the family, given to the synod held by the pope on marriage and the family.

Originally posted on Catholic Voices Comment:

Sacks[From Austen Ivereigh in Rome]

Among many speeches yesterday following Pope Francis’s address to the Humanum colloquium on complementarity, that of Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, was the standout, bringing the audience of 300 in the synod hall to their feet. Using dazzling oratory, he offered a magisterial account of the development of marriage from the very start — a sexual act between fish in Scotland — right up to the present day, told by means of seven stories, and ending with a spectacular exegesis of the Genesis account. It is a story with a tragic end: the dismantling of what he calls “the single most humanising institution in history” resulting in a whole new era of poverty and social division. Yet the recovery of that institution offers hope.  The full speech follows. 

I want this morning to begin our conversation by one way of telling the story…

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