Holy Week 2020 and Jonah’s Hymn Reupholstered (Jonah 2: 3-10)

Source: stfinians.org.uk

(1) Holy Week 2020

Triumphant Entry Into Jerusalem:
CANCELED.

Wherever two or three are gathered
heavy fines are issued.

No palms this Sunday;
no leaves yet;
even the pussy willows
wave their downy little hands
to nobody
in parks barricaded empty.

Churches shuttered pray
the Lord of land and sky
doesn’t demand the rent.

Lots of people quarantined
asking about last suppers…
which one will it be
for the loved one infected?

Handwashing? Yes, always.
It can’t be too often.
But keep your shoes on;
there’ll be no feet touching
and besides you might need to run.

Icky emptiness sticks to the brain
after hours of binge watching
 TV Masses.

How can this week ever end
in Resurrection
when the curve keeps shooting
straight up to heaven?

Gethsemane.
Then Golgotha.
Don’t rush them.
This year they want more time
and attention.
But don’t be scared.
For Christ,
all this is familiar territory.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

(2) Jonah's Hymn Reupholstered (Jonah 2: 3-10)Source: youtube.com

Coughing in the craw of corona
I cried to you, O Lord,
and you, in defiance of all demands
of social distancing
took me snug into your arms!

Pitched into dark seething waters
of viral TMI,
locked out of churches, cafes and school rooms
I quaked with questions:
“Where will we ever meet again?”

Fever flaming in around me;
surgical masks effacing smiles;
all my pleasant pastimes gone extinct,
someone just panic-bought my soul
convinced its recent bitterness
was anti-bacterial.

I’m about to hit rock bottom uncertainty
where all bets on faith are off.
But my bootstraps you pull up, O God,
and my shut-in, bone-bored body follows.
In my distress I kept pressing SEND
on the prayers texted in my deep down cells.
And in the quiet temple of my heart
that no public health order can ever close
you answered without devices,
sighing “all will be well”
in your typically inscrutable tone
freed from the noise of normal,

for normal, by mysterious decree,
no longer holds,
nor holds back, as it once did,
my sacrificial shouts of gratitude.

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.

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6 Comments
  • olga protz
    Posted at 08:27h, 07 April Reply

    love those Greg….thank you!
    Heard this morning that a 100 year old turtle laid eggs after zoo was closed to public…and that after 10 yrs of officials waiting, two panda bears conceived when their zoo was also closed. Good news at this time of isolation!

  • Peter Monty
    Posted at 10:18h, 07 April Reply

    Thanks, Greg. Profound faith trumps angst!

  • Sharon Seyfarth Garner
    Posted at 13:59h, 07 April Reply

    Wonderful interpretation of Jonah’s prayer from the “belly of the whale.” Thank you!

  • Paul Valeriote
    Posted at 09:38h, 10 April Reply

    Thanks Padre!

  • Karen Arthurs
    Posted at 11:08h, 11 April Reply

    The Best !

  • Donna
    Posted at 06:36h, 02 May Reply

    Thank you.

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