Poems and Prayers for Lent 12

The story we’re reading this Sunday at Collins Street–the fifth Sunday of Lent–is the story of the High Priest who condemns Jesus (Mark 14.53-65). I struggle to find words in prayer that mean anything of substance in the midst of a story like this. And as I drove home this afternoon, listening to the radio news, I have to say I felt just as lost.

Perhaps this adaptation of Psalm 55 says something of what I feel:

At times, Lord,
I’m weary before I even begin.

I have no great enemies
like the ones who wrote your psalms,
or at least I lack their heroic sense of drama:
terror, betrayal, cataclysms at every turn.

But I do live in a most bewildering world
where the need for dominance tramples every other,
in the marketplace,
the board rooms,
the halls of justice and law,
more unyielding than cries of the poor,
the children,
the lost.

I beg You for light to see
and air to breathe
in a world suffused by shadows,
and guile,
where innocence is naiveté
and trust is for fools.

Fasten my grasp on truth,
and stiffen my resolve.
If You haven’t given up on us,
then neither shall I.


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