Reflections on the Lectionary

Reflections on the Lectionary

Lectionary-related content sorted by week

Photo by Mary Harrsch

Reflections for

Good Friday

Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Psalm 22; Hebrews 10:16-25 or Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9; John 18:1-19:42

Poetry

Jesus is nailed to the cross

One year Marie gave up TV for Lent.
If Jesus Christ could bear His cross, then kite
on it three hours so we’d repent,
sacrifice in return was merely right.
I swore off sweets, only to break my fast
with thieved chocolate, watching Lord of the Flies,
a film exposing my black soul. Aghast,
I rushed to my sister’s room for advice.
She was asleep, my parents too. Spilling
from the TV, English schoolboy savages
marched the house, whetted for blood and killing.
I screamed for Jesus. But His ravages
snared Him, like a film, in cruel depiction—
as if it were my own crucifixion.

On Art

Holy Trinity and Crown of Thorns, by Ludmila Pawlowska

While wanting to be faithful to the Russian tradition of icon painting, Ludmila Pawlowska seeks a new way of expressing what Matisse (when he discovered icons) termed “luminosity and devotion.” Her own Orthodox faith and cultural heritage (she was born in Kazakhstan and has been influenced by art movements in Sweden, where she lives) shape her exploration. “God is not an idea, and praying is not an exercise to improve our idea of God,” she says. She calls an icon a kind of prayer—“the cultivation of the awareness of God’s actual presence.”

Poetry

Christmas Eve

Luke 2:35

Adam’s rib was Christmas Eve
Foreshadow of a pierced side
Who pulling down forbidden fruit
Set fast in motion Yuletide.

Joseph’s bride was Second Eve
Endowed with gift of pierced soul
Who bowing down to own his will
Joined God in making wounded whole.

Poetry

Blood

               When we think of the blood of Christ,
                we think of the unnumbered insults;
                       the five wounds; the blood
                  beading from the thorn incisors
                          encircling his head

                        But what if, instead,
               we thought of the blue and red
              twining vessels of the umbilicus,
     what if we pictured the roseate and warm
          web of nutrients we call placenta?

                        Why not envision the body of Mary
               her autonomic brain as it was building,
                  creating a network of feeding and growing:
     caring and corpuscle, healing and hemoglobin,
 making a mammal’s four-chambered heart,
             fed by the rich cake we call placenta,
      shaping salvation’s vascular system?

                    Christ’s heart took shape in Mary’s body.
His blood first coursed her valves and veins.
      It was made with her womb’s weaving,
              overcast by heaven’s venture,
            manifest through serving love,
                      cell by alizarin cell.

 

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