Crucified dreams

On the road that escapes Jerusalem
and winds along the ridge to Emmaus,
two disillusioned youths
drag home their crucified dream.

They had smelled messiah in the air
and rose to the scarred and ancient hope
only to mourn what might have been.

And now a sudden stranger
falls upon their loss
with excited words about mustard seeds
and surprises hidden at the heart of death
and that evil must be kissed upon the lips
and that every scream is redeemed
for it echoes in the ear of God
and do you not understand
what died upon the cross was fear.

They protested their right to despair
but he said,
‘My Father’s laughter
fills the silence of the tomb.’

Because they did not understand,
they offered him food.
And in the breaking of the bread
they knew the impostor for who he was –
the arsonist of the heart.

John Shea

Good Friday service 2019 at St. Joseph’s Parish (Ottawa, Canada)

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