A Season of Newness

Photo: D. Slotto

Photo: D. Slotto

For today’s reflection I would like to share an excerpt of the homily delivered by Pope Francis I at the Easter Vigil Service.

“In the Gospel of this radiant night of the Easter Vigil, we first meet the women who go the tomb of Jesus with spices to anoint his body (cf. Lk 24:1-3). They go to perform an act of compassion, a traditional act of affection and love for a dear departed person, just as we would. They had followed Jesus, they had listened to his words, they had felt understood by him in their dignity and they had accompanied him to the very end, to Calvary and to the moment when he was taken down from the cross.

We can imagine their feelings as they make their way to the tomb: a certain sadness, sorrow that Jesus had left them, he had died, his life had come to an end. Life would now go on as before. Yet the women continued to feel love, the love for Jesus which now led them to his tomb

But at this point, something completely new and unexpected happens, something which upsets their hearts and their plans, something which will upset their whole life: they see the stone removed from before the tomb, they draw near and they do not find the Lord’s body.

It is an event which leaves them perplexed, hesitant, full of questions: “What happened?”, “What is the meaning of all this?” (cf. Lk 24:4). Doesn’t the same thing also happen to us when something completely new occurs in our everyday life? We stop short, we don’t understand, we don’t know what to do

Newness often makes us fearful, including the newness which God brings us, the newness which God asks of us. We are like the Apostles in the Gospel: often we would prefer to hold on to our own security, to stand in front of a tomb, to think about someone who has died, someone who ultimately lives on only as a memory, like the great historical figures from the past. We are afraid of God’s surprises; we are afraid of God’s surprises! He always surprises us!

Dear brothers and sisters, let us not be closed to the newness that God wants to bring into our lives!

Photo: Jimmy Akin Francis washing the feet of several young people, including women.

Photo: Jimmy Akin
Francis washing the feet of several young people, including women.


Good Friday Ritual

Photo: Calvary Cemetery, Los Angeles, California by Frank Iley

Photo: Calvary Cemetery, Los Angeles, California
by Frank Iley

Remember back when we were kids?

Mom would load us into the back seat of her ‘53 Buick

and haul us off to Calvary Cemetery.


A stop at our favorite flower vendor,

the sweet scent of stock,

sickening, filled up the car.


We’d visit your mother

and the grave of an unknown soldier, a few rows down

for my father whose body was, who-knows-where.


At noon she’d hush us up

to observe the three hours

and hand us tuna fish sandwiches on Wonder bread

soggy by now ‘cause of too much mayo.


We’d eat in silence, giggling,

not knowing how to spend the time,

not knowing how to pray.


Today—no cemetery.

Today—no mushy sandwich.

Today—she won’t go.

“I’ll be there soon enough,” she says,

but you are there—alone.


I wrote this yesterday for Day 18 of National Poetry Month. The three hours refers to a traditional practice of spending noon to three PM in silent prayer, in observation of the time Christ was said to hang upon the cross.


Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto

a Self-Portrait

The process of oxidation takes time.
Today the scent of Mother’s silver polish
transports me back to 1957
when I was yet untarnished.

My task in these, my later years—
rediscover the original patina
without losing the texture.

Brian’s prompt over at dVerse sent my mind into overdrive. He asks us to write a self-portrait. I was looking for something metaphoric and today, when cleaning out the kitchen I uncovered these silver grapefruit spoons…and glass polish she used to use for silverware. I can’t wait to see where others have taken this prompt. I hope you’ll join us.

Clothes–dVerse Poetics, the Photography of Phyllis Galembo

Photo:Phyllis Galembo affanwan-masquerade

Photo:Phyllis Galembo


some people chose clothes
to express who they are.
other dress in such a way
so as to seem like everyone else.

think of how much money
we would save
if adam and eve hadn’t screwed
things up for us.

on the other hand, consider
of the impact on the GNP.

colors reflect mood.
are people who wear black and white
those who choose blue, blue?
and what of gray?

if the whole world
went clothing optional,
some of us
would need ironing.

A late submission for Tony’s prompt for dVerse Poetics using the photography of Phyllis Galembo. National Poetry Month, Day 16. 

Photo used with permission. All rights reserved, Phyllis Galembo

a lesson learned after many years of living

a tenWord

Photo: flickerhavemind.com

Photo: flickerhavemind.com

sand still clouds our valley
blocking the serene mountain view

later, winds settle down
blue skies break through once again

i’m stuck inside, emptying cupboards
boxing up kitchen for remodel

walking dogs i drink in color
and breath new air

but November’s green grass is turning
drought-dry brown

if i don’t expect perfection
life’s still full, beautiful

blood moon tomorrow early, morning
no doubt i will awaken.

I wrote this for National Poetry Month Day 14. Brian, over at dVerse tickled my muse with his tenWord form. Quite fun.