April 21, 2006

My Journey to God


Mary’s heart would not rest as she lay
On her mat of straw that moon-filled night,
Though her body was worn from her journey’s day.
Rumors heard on her pilgrimage flight
Were all confirmed in Jerusalem.
The donkey’s hooves had trod the palms;
(A donkey once trod to Bethlehem);
Young and old had praised God in psalms.
“A king could have been crowned,” they said.
But other rumors were just as bold,
Of anger and hatred and scourging delayed;
Even the name of Death had been told.

The mother’s heart now pondered in fear.
(“Joseph would calm me, would he were here.”)
She prayed once and again as her agony grew:
“My God, do not let this sword pierce me through.
You Who Give Life, I am your servant, ever and still,
But, You Who Are Life, could death be your will?
Do not desert him, my God, you are his all.
What for the dry wood, if the green should fall?”

Again her heart sought God’s mercy, her mind God’s choice:
“My God, my God, have you forsaken …?”
A battering at the door—a breathless voice—
“He has been taken!”

By Father G. Paul Peterson, S.J.

(Jesuit Father G. Paul Peterson is a member of the Brebeuf Jesuit community in Indianapolis. Judas kisses Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane as Jesus is handed over to soldiers in this detail from a contemporary Bible illumination. The National Geographic Society on April 6 released the first modern translation of an ancient gnostic text that describes supposed conversations between Jesus and Judas Iscariot.)


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