Reflections for

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Aug 13, 2017

Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28; Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b; (1 Kings 19:9-18; Psalm 85:8-13;) Romans 10:5-15; Matthew 14:22-33


The whole world over

I see him, mariner Jesus, walking on corrupted
waters of the Danube while down in silted depths
lurk the unexploded bombs of lately wars; I walk out,
hand in hand with the poem, crossing on the high
redemption bridge, to earth corrupted by tar and concrete,
where down in the darkly shiftless soil words crawl,
eyeless and eager. Between sleep and day, light
and black, I grow conscious of compelling truths—
but something in the ego-wassailing of flesh compels me
back to comfort, and something in the slippery
eel-mud of the mind eases towards sleep, though always
Jesus plods on over all the corrupted waters
heading for the unforgiving hill, for his piercing
cry of forgiveness out-into-the-outraged world.


Under cover

We see God in the shape
he shows to us. For some, fire.
For others, holy smoke, oil,
a running river, sheep’s crook,
muscular right arm that holds
against the dark, the dread.

It is the oddity of poets
to not see the world straight on
but at some slant, under the skin,
behind the scrim—a scurry
of leaves, clouds. God speaks
his presence in the wind.

I sensed him even in the ink
warming within the pen before
these words arrived.


Revised Common Lectionary © 1992 the Consultation on Common Texts. Used by permission.