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.

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