Catherine de Vinck’s “A Passion Play” for Easter Sunday

Here is a passage from Catherine de Vinck’s A Passion Play: A Drama for Several Voices (Allendale, NJ: Alleluia Press, 1975) that I thought would be especially enriching for our celebration of Easter Sunday. It conflates a series of speeches the Risen Jesus makes to various disciples:

Peace be to you
my brothers, my sisters!
How often did I ask:
do you believe? And you said yes
but it was only a nodding of the head?
And now I come again:
do you believe, can you see
I am walking through the clouds of your eyes
I your Lord risen from the dead?
No, I am not a ghost: touch me
feel me. Does a ghost have real flesh
skin over webbing of muscle and bones?

The sun shines in your faces:
do you still need to fumble
with oil and lamp? Had I not died,
could I claim to be your brother
could I share time with you
the ancient rhythm of the clock?
If death had rubbed me fine as sand
could I now call you back, could I say:
I am the Christ, I am the Lord walking
the divided roads of history
feeling in my bones
the heaving of continents?
Since the beginning, I shape the world
and in the shaping I am cast: flesh, hair
eye and hand, helter-skelter
for I am son of man as well as son of God.
Yes, I have seen the earth ravaged
the worm at work in the wound;
I have seen children with bellies
like wrinkled gourds, women weeping
men carved thin by the chisel of pain.
Everywhere
death was the talk of the town. No more!
Death is that deflated pouch, that bag
of toothless snakes.
They still lift hissing heads to your ankles
but no longer have they power
to pump poison in your blood.

I am going to my Father
but I do not leave you: I am
root and grain. I am food on your tables
wine in your cups. Come to me
all who thirst and hunger:
see how I feed my beloved
not with cracked wishes
out of broken bowls
but with the meat of truth.

One comment

  1. Not only Easter Sunday – it is an enriching meditation for all of the Easter season. I will print it out and put it in my choir’s folders.

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