Holy Saturday

His last thought before darkness

a sweep of the mind, empty,

and the pure pleasure of nothing –

before that – a commitment,

fully into holiness,

into the hands of an abundant grace

and forgiveness, a thing complete,

so abiding calm while his mouth

drank in the sweet wine of eternity,

after the terrible thirst, after that.

 

I think it must have been so quiet

in heaven, when God came home

dragging with him the souls

who had been lost, carrying them

on his shoulder and over his back

one by one, up from all pure lost-ness

into heaven and such still silence,

nobody wailing or weeping but held now

in the abiding, in the coming home.

 

For three days, he carried the lost

and shut the door on hell, such grace,

given now to a communion, that paradise

of tasting wine with love

and all the bread leavening like a perfume,

everyone gaining strength again,

the ordeal over, suffering maturing, rising,

holding all the worlds in place

with a silence to dissolve fear or separateness.

 

That was the same silence into which he slipped

after his body became the wooden beams

upon which he was nailed –

the life of the tree ministering to his need

to grow something more than endings,

and leaning out of darkness,

after the human hewed tomb,

after the work of redeeming hell,

he dropped the cloths that cased his limbs

and walked forth to call the world home,

meeting Mary and Peter and Thomas,

and appearing to many, to the thousands,

whose voices became unintelligible to ordinary life

speaking a language of mysterious grace

in which everything comes home

in which everyone comes home

in which the time is fully come.

Mary Fraser

 

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