Note: A few years ago I took the time to ponder the windows in the new Catholic Cathedral in Saskatoon and wrote a series of brief meditations on each of them. As the windows depict salvation history, a history we recall during the Easter Triduum, it seems fitting to share these meditations in this Holy Week, a week leading us through Christ’s death into the glorious light of resurrection. Here is number three, entitled Incarnation. But what does that have to do with this day, Holy/Maundy Thursday? I’ll let your imagination play with that 🙂
Holy wholeness arrived inconspicuously
on the riverbank one day,
casting a glow of heaven on the weeds in my garden.
I laughed in disbelief – is this not the thistle choking veggies?
Is this not the carpenter from Nazareth,
or the slave girl in the brothel?
What good can come from these?
Daydreams, nothing but daydreams,
and I kept on walking along that inconspicuous riverbank
while straining to shake off the holy glow
resting on tree, thistle and grass,
emanating from water and sky…
Until, shocked into fresh seeing, I perceived
deep in my spirit an unstoppable and terrifying holy truth …
Take off your shoes, for the ground on which you stand
is holy …
Word made flesh,
prairie land shot through with heaven
manifested by the coming of the Beloved
in this world so easily drowning in cries of despair
and darkened by shadows of death.
Flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone
arrived scandalously, in the particularity
of riverbank, weeds and laughter,
an embarrassing God stooping down
to hide like yeast into the mess
we ignorantly and with glee
each moment of each day
blissfully blind to the illusion
of our own mastery over life and death.
Jesus – flesh of our flesh, bone of our bone
as it was in the beginning when
Word, Wisdom and Beauty were with God,
Jesus – light of the world leading the way
from death into eternity
through love’s woeing and mercy’s healing power.
Imagine that – holy Word in our own flesh and bones.
Flesh of our flesh overcoming,
bone of our bone winning the victory.
Plunge into waters of love and healing
take hold of our deepest, most precious identity:
God’s own beloved son and daughter
are you, am I, are we,
in whom the God of prairie dogs, children and stars
is most pleased…
My Body, my Blood …
Drunk with delight I dance
in the field and kiss daisies …
the prairie glows with heaven.
For those who would still like to read a couple of beautiful reflections on foot-washing, here is one inspired by 16th century Anglican Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, and this thought-provoking one: Feet First.