Communal Reflection (Rev. Dr. Marty Kuchma)
Imagine a new-born body
Soft, precious, as light as air but distinctly more
A wisp of substance with a lifetime of possibilities
An utterly dependent yet marvelously resilient miracle of new life
Imagine a body young and pliable
Emanating endless energy into the world
In all directions and everywhere, exploring, discovering
Probing independence but not alone, brimming over with new life
Imagine a body wracked with injury
Bent, broken and bruised, vulnerable, fragile and frail
Sustained mostly by the power of prayers fervently said
A nexus of pain and suffering, seeking relief in healing and new life
Imagine a body riddled with disease
Worn down and worn out, turned inside-out and upside-down
Willingly, if reluctantly, collaborating in the destruction of life for life’s sake
Forcing hope from despair, grasping after new life
Imagine a body gracefully aged
Elegantly etched with lines that trace memories
Of a life with regrets, to be sure, but well-lived nonetheless
Time and again, celebrating new life, and still.
Imagine a body on the verge of death
Depleted, exhausted, chest heaving, gasping for one last breath,
Then receding, perhaps with a final prayer, never to rise again
Breathless and lifeless, a body now jettisoned on the journey toward new life
Are we bodies with souls or souls with bodies?
And what of our thoughts and feelings, our hopes and dreams,
The relationships we make real only in our bodied selves
That extend beyond mere flesh and bone
To fill the expansive universe
That lies at once all around us and deep within us.
The Passion of Jesus of Nazareth is about so much
That informs our theology and shapes our beliefs
It is a story that begins and ends with a human body
That is born and grows strong then is battered and broken,
For us… But how? And why?
A body rendered breathless, lifeless
Yet fully and forever alive.