Thank you for your on-the-street donation for the poor and homeless in the Chicago area. In return, I hope you enjoyed the print of the poem entitled, Nativity. The story of the poem’s inspiration is featured at Aleteia.org, excerpted from the original version in Christ is Our Hope Magazine.
The Easter Triduum. Emmaus Poem, below, is a retelling of the Road to Emmaus event, one of five Resurrection narratives found in the Gospels. As you journey with the Risen Lord, my prayer is that you too will come to know more deeply the broader, God narrative to which He calls you.
Wise we were to leave when we did
Though our hearts were full and broken.
And the others have either fled or hid,
And oh what strange things the women have spoken!
Fools would we be to believe such things.
Look! A fool who takes the road alone.
Should we not ask him to join us
Upon these oft traveled stones?
I call out—We’ve a day’s journey to Emmaus!
Come along—the wise travel in company!
The stranger replies, Why off to Emmaus?
What consolation awaits you there?
And what things do you discuss
Along the road that takes you there?
You seem concerned about grave matters.
An ignorant fool, I muse. I swear—
The only visitor to the Holy City
Who knows not what happened there.
What things? He asks. Oh for pity!
Should I dare—? Deeply I sigh and share
All about Jesus of Nazareth,
A prophet great in word and deed,
How our leaders put him to death
By nailing him to a tree,
And with him all our hopes.
Replies the wayfarer, unsympathetic and bold,
You fools! Ignorant of the Law and slow to enlist
All the Prophets foretold.
Was it not ordained that the Christ
Should suffer at the hands of men?
Then this teacher explains the history
Of him our leaders slew,
And reveals to us the mystery
Of the one we thought we knew.
Rejected! No, truly not what we expected.
This was the servant foreseen by Isaiah,
Wounded for our transgressions,
Bruised for our iniquities. A Messiah
Whose chastisement and crucifixion
Make us whole. With his stripes are we healed.
Emmaus looms in the evening haze,
Yet this prophet means to travel onward.
Stop! I say. The hour is late, and the day’s
Long spent. Stay with us. Inward
Now we go to rest, to pray, to eat.
Together at table and seated,
This priest takes bread, says the blessing,
Breaks it for us, and we eat it.
Suddenly he’s gone, vanishing
From our sight. It was the Lord!
He lives! We have seen him!
It is as the women said,
Yet we did not recognize him
Until the breaking of the bread.
Let us return in haste to tell the others
What fools we were to disbelieve as we did
For our hearts were dull and darkened.
We now know our Lord Jesus lives!
To us has he appeared! Hearken!
And they all shout with joy—Simon has seen him too!
Then we recount all that happened—
How he shared the road with us,
The one we took to Emmaus,
And the one we took within us.
How he explained the Law of Moses,
The things the Prophets told us,
And the Word that would restore us.
How he shared his Body with us,
The bread he broke before us,
The food we recognized as—
Peace be with you!
Lent 2017. Come Ill to the Desert may speak to you as it did to me when I wrote it. My prayer is that you will grow in your relationship with the Lord during this time of Lent so that when Easter comes, we can join our voices and cry out as one– He is risen! He is risen! He is truly risen!
Thank you for your on-the-street donation for the poor and homeless in the Chicago area. In return, we hope you enjoyed the print of the poem, entitled Nativity. The story of the poem’s inspiration is featured at Aleteia.org, excerpted from the original version in Christ is Our Hope Magazine. Thank you again, and God bless!