The Passion of Mary

The wind and rain attacked the hill and the tree
Assaulting the hangéd human's beaten face.
She looked up from her knees upon the outstretched
And piercéd arms, tormented, dying.
She cried out, voice and tears submerged by the storm,
To her lover now profaned, abandoned:
"O why has all we've worked for fallen to this?
O Jesus, why, why have you come to this?"
"O Mary, truest follower, my devoted,
How could we not but follow the Way?"
The rain like nails a-hammering pierced his flesh.
He gasped for breath against the howling wind.
"O how the proconsul and high priest allowed
Me opportunities to save myself -
O had I taken them! Only if I'd taken them!"
She wept at the whispered, tortured words.
"Our child, O Jesus, who now squalls for you
And the other in me, are they to follow too?"
He wept, "O Mary to be with you and ours ...
O God, O why have you forsaken us!"
The heavens roared a thunderous lament.
And Jesus died ...
And Mary wailed ...

The storm dissolved and Mary wept and wept.
Joseph appeared and ordered the guards to cut
Him down and bring the Lord to his own tomb.
His Mary, drained, just stumbled after them.
But Mother Mary rushed ahead of her
And grasped her son in agonized lament.
In the tomb, dear Mary prepared his body.
But Mother Mary cried upon Joseph,
"O send away the seductress from my son!
Her children aren't of the son, divine and pure:
Divinity's his lot, not her profanity!"
Yet, Mary, concentrating on her lover,
Continued the cherished, loving labor.
And Mother Mary clung to John, now her son,
Prepared to follow him to safe abode.
But Joseph moved to face the holy widow:
"O, Mary, wife and mother, your belovéd
Will ever be with you and yours ..."

In shredded weeds, the devastated widow
Through the garden wandered, weeping quietly.
She wondered, knowing not where else to be,
But to find some closeness to Jesus now though gone.
Confused, her shrouded mind invoked a hell
Of demons: Romans murdering her children;
The disciples hunted down; the Way destroyed -
And one so startling, deeply troubling:
The Way rejecting Jesus' family.
She found herself by the only link to Jesus.
Who now to care for her belovéd ones?
Mother Mary has rejected her and hers -
No other kin there is to claim her life.
Alone, "Why God have you forsaken me!"
She looked at the unforgiving stone cold tomb.
She looked again; she blinked: 'twas opened!
She cried, "O who has stolen Jesus?"
She wept. Now even his body's gone.
But then she saw by the tomb a man, prostrate
Among the flowers weeding bit by bit.
"Sir, do you know who has removed my love?"
He stood up, "Mary, I've awaited you."
"Rabbi! My husband!" She embraced her love.
"No, Mary! How I yearn for you and ours.
But God has raised me for renewing life.
I know not yet just whereat this will lead
Or how we must proceed, relate, exist."
"O Jesus, can't we start again, restored,
And disappear to idyllic family bliss?"
"A novel age can now begin; 'tis here we're called.
I yielded not to the Powers; now the Kindom starts
Uncompromised, entirely metanoic.
You need to go to my disciples now.
Proclaim to them that I am risen -
The sign of God's inbreaking Commonwealth.
Proclaim to them to live in God's shalom
No matter the cost, to be the Commonwealth
Of love in the midst of broken violence.
O Mary, go! Proclaim and celebrate!"

Mary rose and sped to the Upper Room.
She banged on the door, "O Peter, John, Andrew!"
She heard the bolts released and the creaking door.
Peter waved her through the door to the room.
He closed it tight, "Where were you? It's not safe.
You easily can lead the soldiers to us!"
"He has been raised! Oh! Jesus lives again!"
"O Mary, Mary, you're distraught and veiled.
We know - you saw - he's dead and we are done!"
"He lives, I say! He sent me to tell you so!
We are not done! We are the Commonwealth!
The tomb is empty. Go and see yourself!"
The Spirit flowed out of her words so sure
That Peter was propelled outside to the tomb ...

Mary stood on the hill surveying the village.
How wonderful a Commonwealth they've made.
Below she saw a child unable to walk.
Among the playing children were her own.
Here was a home for all the anawin.
She spotted the Zealot come among the Way,
A time to hide for him, to talk for them,
To show better ways than bitter hate.
Afraid were many that the soldiers would come
And slay the Commonwealth in righteous law.
But Mary said remember Jesus Lord
And his unrelenting sacrifice for the Way.

She turned towards the approaching sound of horses.
Again the father came for the legless child.
He wanted her for the beggary of coins.
The child will spend her life on the street to beg;
Her father to reap the income of tragedy.
Now rushes Mary to launch the well-known critique
As the Zealot looks on pondering the scene.
But soon the father flees, to cast a threat
Of sure destruction for the Commonwealth.

That night together she, her children,
And Arimathea supped and afterwards
Mary rose up to speak of her belovéd.
"My children, know your father's love and words.
As Jesus' blood is carried through you,
You are the sign of God's authentic full
Participation, body and soul, in mortal life.
My children, you are the proof of God's deepest love."

That very night the soldiers came for the Zealot.
They razed the village; Mary captured as
The penalty for the Zealot's escape.
In the chaos, the father snatched his legless child.

Mary hung upon the cross, the indictment:
She who would be man; an enemy of God.
The wind and rain assaulted the killing hill.
As naked born, now naked before all the world,
Her shaven head attacked by the stinging drops,
Her body twisted, bent, and broken, she cries,
"Joseph, my children! What of my children?"
Her children clung to the cross in silent cries.
And Joseph on his knees assailed Yahweh:
"O God, must the Holy Family all be murdered!"
But Mary groaned and cried, "I give you them."
Then Mary breathed one final breath and moaned,
"O God, O God, O come, O quickly come!"
And Joseph cried, "Let there be death no more ..."

©2011, John A. Mills