Mass In Times of a Pandemic
Have mercy upon the people of faith, O Lord,
who put their trust in you, as an enemy, unseen
and silent, steals across our land and the world
abroad to tap on shoulders—as if at random
like a monstrous game of tag—of unsuspecting men
and women who strive to make it through the day.
We sing, Kyrie eléison, Christe eléison,
Kyrie eléison, with great gladness; and we pray:
Give us courage, O Lord, come what may.
We shoulder sorrows at the end of a darkened day,
seeking shelter against the forces of the night,
and in the lengthening shadows we find our way
to the empty tomb of Christ with the perpetual light
of one hopeful candle burning bright
to celebrate the risen Lord. We look to the west:
the glow of the golden sun gives way to the light
of vespers. Secure in our safe lodging, we are blessed
to praise the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
How did the Coronavirus disaster come? Two ways:
gradually, then suddenly. Science knew it was real
and lethal, but leadership dithered for many days
until a great nation was brought to heel.
Worse than war, we tumbled down into the hell
of separateness. Each of us must suffer alone,
apart from the warmth of fellowship in which we feel
a common bond. But we shall rise again!
Even in isolation, we are one unbroken chain.
The virus requires we find new ways to cope.
Gatherings are banned; individuals widen their space.
In isolation, we glimpse in memory, dimly, but we hope
to see each other soon face to face,
cheek by jowl, in a happier time and place.
Privately, we pray, Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God of hosts. By the loving grace
of God, we plan to come together fully
as one body and sing the Hymn of Victory.
Behold the Lamb of God who takes away
the sins of the world. We the faithful may be sheep
in need of a good shepherd or innocents in the ways
of the world, but the body of Christ is wide and deep
and the people of this church have commitments to keep
whether blown to the four winds or gathered in place.
We are set on sowing in the Spirit—in the hope of reaping
eternal life. My friends, go in grace
until we meet again face to face.
Last Sunday after Pentecost
November 26, 2023
NOTE: This concludes Year A.
Bud and Mary
In 2022, I completed a book of poems about my parents and the life my three sisters and I shared with them. To open the collection of poems, click THIS.
Click THIS to view the complete collection of weekly postings since December 2018.
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