Passiontide

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(This is the second part of a three-part reflection that Father Timothy Regan wrote, reflecting on the Holy Week experience through the lens of the hospital/health care experience. Father Regan serves as the Catholic chaplain/Spiritual Services with University of Iowa Health Care in Iowa City.)
Gabbatha
Consider the judgment seat
and the one who sits upon it.
The seat and its occupant are met
with suspicion, fear, anger
and perhaps desperate hope,
but too seldom with acceptance, appreciation
or, dare I say it, love.

Is it the fault of the seat or its occupant
that the word which is spoken
is one of what must be?
Neither the seat nor its occupant
can change the consequence of my own actions –
good or ill, wise or foolish.
Neither can the seat or its occupant
withstand the forms of injustice
thrust upon it by measures beyond control.

In the end, mercy is attempted,
justice is disenfranchised
and the unfathomable Plan unfolds.

Golgotha


Once proud mount now laid low
beauty, strength and utility
all stripped away
for others’ use
without thanks.
Thy heart lay shattered
wracked by nature’s violence
sin burnt, naked, exposed
infertile heap of wreckage
fit only for execution.
Someone approaches.
A dull, insensitive instrument pierces thy already
open wound
penetrating to the sorest point
as if thy sacrifices already were not enough.
Precipitation falls
not a cold rain but something thicker, warmer
penetrating softly, gently
cleansing, blessing, healing
even in death.

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