Stations of The Cross 2010

The Cross Is Laid upon The Shoulders of Jesus


Weighed down,
the wood of all the world
set on my slender shoulders.
Weighed down by a life of wear and care:
my mother and family, the disrupted, disoriented disciples
and the blight of the bloody shadow spreading
across the beloved, gentle sea of Galilee;
and the care of the countless sisters and brothers
who weighed down the boat
and sat on the mountain grass
for the word of life and the bread of life
and those who took a risk with the palms and the shouts of
And the care of the countless I knew,
the faithful, sacrificing Jew
and the strangely prescient few in Decapolis.
Let it weigh me down,
let it weigh more than I can bear,
let it contain within its cast-off wood
all the earth's pain and care;
now is the time to carry and to share, to suffer and to bear.
There is no better place than here
for all the cowardice and fear,
for the deed half-wrong, for the word half-true,
for the friend half-gone and the self half-known,
for the place you stood, saying you could not follow.
If there was was heroism it has gone now:
you have not followed,
I can scarcely lead;
but there is this sense in me of the dogged,
the supporter of Galilee United through much more thin than thick;
the fire of Isaiah in my bones
and the long, slow trajectory of Jeremiah.
Lay the burden, the out-cast wood
on the outcast Northerner;
for some of them will remember that I was out-cast
for doing good.


Weighed down
by this outcast wood,
I flinch, then flex, straighten my knees and stand,
to bring all earthly forces into my command;
they shall not mourn, they shall not speak
of loss as this last journey sings:
Lift high The Cross.
I bade you come to me,
all you that labour,
whose burden laid you low,
and I would lift the burden from your shoulders,
leaving a load which you could bear for me,
conferring, in God's grace, love's dignity.
Do you remember Lazarus?
Or has that fame been lost
in the mayhem of ritual and politics?
Has it become, in the propaganda of the establishment,
another of my inexplicable sacred tricks?
Or does it reach forward into this final, earthly dawn
when I shall complete the mission for which I was born?
Watch how the dawn breaks in this last day
when I shall walk the crooked, human way,
look at the dawn against whose roseate light
you see The Cross set high,
above humanity.
Look at its stark, black limbs
against the sky,
source of derision to all those who pass by,
but source of all hope for those who watch and pray,
for those who do not flinch, who do not turn away.
Prepare to follow where this wood must lead,
to death which overcomes all human need.