Journey

Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority

over all demons and to cure diseases,

and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God

and to heal the sick.

He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey,

neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money,

and let no one take a second tunic.

Luke 9:1-6
You set me on a journey,
but take all I'd prepared
and send me out with nothing
to go I-know-not-where.
Without my sure provisions
and all my careful plans,
I go about my mission
with only empty hands.

I meant to scale the mountains
but had no rod or staff,
to sail the ocean's fountains,
but had no mast or raft,
so when I fell, I shattered,
and when I sank, I drowned,
and all my dreams were scattered
as ashes on the ground.

What is it, then, you've asked me?
(No money in my sack.)
With what, then, have you tasked me?
(No tunic for my back.)
There's nothing I can give you,
no glories for your name.
I am not worthy of you:
This is my constant shame.

But still your journey beckons,
and, sandal-less, I go
with nothing I had reckoned,
by roads I do not know.
You do not ask for wonders,
but only that I walk.
Then barefoot, let me blunder
along the road you've marked.
The Calling of Matthew by Vittore Carpaccio, 1502 – Web Gallery of Art:   Image  Info about artwork, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9770918
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Days of Waiting

 I have known the days of waiting
 flowing from my heart-rent cry,
 'til you stooped, O Lord, to save me;
 'til you reached down from on high.
  
 I have known the exultation
 when I knew that you had heard,
 raised my voice in celebration
 and with joy proclaimed your word.

Have you known the days of waiting
 when you called me to your side,
 when your touch alone could save me
 but I wandered far and wide?
  
 Have you known the deep down grieving
 when your call has gone unheard,
 when I go forth unbelieving
 and I push away your word?
  
 There are other voices waiting,
 other hands than mine upheld.
 Will you come, O Lord, to save them?
 Will you send me in your stead?

Give me ears to hear them calling;
 give me eyes to see the signs.
 Hands to lift up all the falling:
 they are yours, O God, and mine. 
A pot or a god? A man in a doorway with an earthenware vase on which a sculpted head with an open mouth. By Aart Rietveld – Aart Rietveld collection, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=81924272

Torn Nets

As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,

he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;

they were fishermen.

Jesus said to them,

“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Then they abandoned their nets and followed him.

He walked along a little farther

and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.

They too were in a boat mending their nets.

Then he called them.

So they left their father Zebedee in the boat

along with the hired men and followed him.

Mark 1:14-20
 I hear you call across the sand,
 “Come, follow after me,”
 but still my net is in my hand,
 my feet are in the sea.
  
 I hear you say, “Come after me
 and cast your nets again.”
How, Master, can I leave the sea
 and fish instead for men?
  
 It's to this work that I was born,
 to storm-tossed, angry seas.
 My heart is hard; my nets are torn;
 what can you do with these?
  
 “Come after me,” still echoes on
 like waves that strike the shore.
 As you walk off into the dawn,
 I long to hear you more.
  
 How can you want the thing I am,
 just this and nothing more?
But I will follow God's own Lamb
 when he goes from the shore.
  
 “Come after me”: Oh, Lord, I will
 across the sand and sea.
 I give you my torn nets to fill
 while you are mending me. 
James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). The Calling of Saint James and Saint John (Vocation de Saint Jacques et de Saint Jean), 1886-1894. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 7 11/16 x 5 3/4 in. (19.5 x 14.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.58 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.58_PS2.jpg) https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/4460

Wounded Hands

One for today’s readings; no tune.

 No spirit hand is writing on the wall,
 no words of flame are burning in my sight.
 No disembodied midnight voices call
 to tell me not to turn to left or right.
  
 Instead, the human voices of my world
 are calling me each moment of the day,
 while human hands are pointing to you, Lord,
 and human footsteps forge for me the way.
  
 Some hands are withered, some are worked and worn,
 or smooth or wrinkled, light or deeply dark.
 They point me to your own hands, ripped and torn,
 and show me every everlasting mark.
  
 Then take your wounded hands and touch my eyes
 to see in all these hands the spirit's flame.
 Teach me to hear your voice in every guise,
 in every call to work in your great name.
  
 And may I, when they call, say, “Here I am.”
Here are my hands: oh, use them as you will!
 And may my voice teach others of the Lamb
 who died and rose, who lives and saves us still. 
By Michelangelo – Web Gallery of Art[1], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1551141

The Music of the Christ

A single trumpet sounds,
a simple clarion call,
but somehow all the world resounds
with tones that rise and fall.
Unearthly song abounds
and holds our souls in thrall:
the music of the thorn-encrowned
that resonates in all.

Each one of us a note,
enwoven, harmonized,
we sing back from a thousand throats
the music of the Christ.
Come: Life and love devote,
with every chord you prized,
to beautify the song he wrote
with all you've improvised.

No voice shall silent fall
nor echo fade away:
Resound each answer to the call
until the final day!
Oh, God, who hears them all
(Hear us, oh God, we pray!)
may we sing someday in your hall
for aye, for aye, for aye!
By Врубель Михайло Олександрович – скан з екрана, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25181090