Gifts, Wisdom, Questions

Here comes wisdom on the road star-gazing
ladened with heavy-scented gifts
soon to be laid at the twin feet
as yet untested of an infant
without the slightest clue
of a gift’s real market value.

Did somebody in the benighted stable—
a woke shepherd? a bitter angel?—
foreshadow the sharp question
that was decades later to cut through
the cloud of expensive love
released from alabaster 
to fill a lonesome room 
in a town called Bethany
at the opposite end of this new life?

Why wasn’t all this sold
for cash remitted to the poor?
What’s a baby going to do
with pounds and pounds of costly myrrh?

Ask the have-nots if they had
these or queries of the like
on that most holy, silent night.

Greg Kennedy, SJ works as a spiritual director at the Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph, Ontario. He is author of Reupholstered Psalms volumes I, II, and III; and Amazing Friendships between Animals and Saints (Novalis Press).

  • richard grover
    Posted at 10:18h, 27 December Reply

    I admire your faith, Greg…..and the hard questions you ask. One of my older/wiser Jesuits(passed years ago)said we should “Keep the faith….and your sense of humour.” Richard

  • Dodzi Amemado
    Posted at 11:45h, 27 December Reply

    Thank you, Greg, for the insight and beauty in this poem.

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 22:14h, 27 December Reply

    Thank you Greg!

  • Eric Jensen
    Posted at 15:01h, 28 December Reply

    Laden, Greg, not ladened! Haven’t you poor shepherds learned anything?

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