That first baptism was pure Spirit
in a domestic desert
bereft of most refreshment.
By the smoky fire that kills
over years breath and sight
there was no room signs;
the Spirit flowed thinner there
than the Jordan--that struggling stream--
thinner, but to greater depth.

She arose out of the dirt floor,
the killing smoke, the anonymity
well pleased to be called
“Beloved” for the first time heard.
Pregnant now with point,
with truth, with light
she, the prototype of prophecy,
left with haste the silent
house of fear and burst
her kinsfolk’s walls with a joy
that overturns hearts,
exposing their pale side to sun.

That second baptism then
was as dry as the first,
but this time double—
given and received—
in the river of an embrace
that held on long enough
to change the course
of hackneyed history.
Mary & Liz,
John & Jesus:
a whole choir of conversion
in & ex vitro
singing through lone, wilderness voices
in harmony an unprecedented song,
a revolutionary hymn
that always cycles back
to the chorus
handed down by a Spirit
who used to compose in circles
before She got round
to talking straight.

Greg Kennedy, SJ is assigned to the spiritual exercises ministry at the Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph, Ontario. Novalis will publish Greg's book - “Reupholstered Psalms” - on March 1, 2020.

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 09:02h, 13 August Reply

    Thank you Greg!

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