Gifts from Two Artists Received during Passover/Holy Week

I received three unsolicited gifts this week, one from a painter friend and two from a poet friend.  I think they both speak to what many of us are feeling at this time of Passover and the death of Jesus and of Eastertime. 

“Crucifixion.” Painting by Ullrich Javier Garcia Lemus. Used with permission of artist.

Being art, they speak for themselves but invite an engagement from the receiver.  It is good to meditate by way of art and the poetry.  I call your attention to both.  Let them be your Daily Meditation today. 

The painting is rugged, not easy to look at.  It is called “crucifixion” and speaks to the story of the evil of Jesus’ death.  It is a reminder to all of us  how “all beings suffer” as the Buddhists put it; and to the archetype of suffering and “carrying one’s cross” that the Christians talk of.

The artist, Ullrich Javier Garcia Lemus, tells us that “it is Jesus connecting to the universe for our salvation.  The universe is crying and the sky is crying.”

It is bloody but so was the school in Nashville ten days ago.  And so is Ukraine.

The poem by Rafael Jesús González and its accompanying drawing also speak to the suffering of our time and of all past times.

A veces
a Justin Jones, Gloria Johnson,

y Justin Pearson de Tennessee

cuando no se nos oye
la justicia exige
que bajemos a la noria
y alcemos la voz,
por megáfono
si es debido. La culpa
no es nuestra mas de ellos
que se niegan a oír.

© Rafael Jesús González 2023

Christ on a cross of guns. Image by Rafael Jesús González.
Used with permission of the artist.

for Justin Jones, Gloria Johnson,
& Justin Pearson of Tennessee

when we are not heard
justice demands
that we take to the well
and speak loudly,
through a megaphone
if we must. The fault lies
not with us but with them
who refuse to hear.

© Rafael Jesús González 2023

And a second poem by Rafael Jesús González.

Ritual para Jueves Santo

Llegan como mariposas
de largas distancias,
otros países, otros continentes,
pies cansados, gastados,
heridos, polvorientos
de cruzar ríos, y montes,
selvas y desiertos
huyendo hambre y asesinos.
Y nosotros que vivimos
en el imperio que los desplazó
podemos hacer no menos
que lo que hizo el Maestro:
tiernamente lavarles los pies
y decirles, “Les tenemos lugar
puesto en la mesa.”

“Christ Washing the Feet of the Apostles.” by Meister des Hausbuches, 1475. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain

Rite for Holy Thursday

They come like butterflies
from long distances,
other countries, other continents,
feet tired, worn, wounded, dusty
from crossing rivers &
jungles & deserts
fleeing hunger & murderers.
& we who live in the empire
that displaced them
can do no less
than what the Master did:
to tenderly wash their feet
& say, “We have a place
set for you at the table.”

© Rafael Jesús González

May we learn to lessen the suffering.  And the hate.  And lies that make suffering happen.  To put justice and compassion forward as our dominant shared values.  The common good over private good.  May we therefore resurrect from our necrophilia including all forms of self-hatred and other-hatred.

We thank the artists for sharing their important stories.  And speaking truth in a time of lies.  Love in a time of hate.

See Matthew Fox, Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts For the Peoples of the Earth.

To read a transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner image: The creative process. Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

Queries for Contemplation

Are you feeling both the sting of Good Friday and the hope of Passover and Resurrection these days? 

Recommended Reading

Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth

Fox’s spirituality weds the healing and liberation found in North American Creation Spirituality and in South American Liberation Theology. Creation Spirituality challenges readers of every religious and political persuasion to unite in a new vision through which we learn to honor the earth and the people who inhabit it as the gift of a good and just Creator.
“A watershed theological work that offers a common ground for religious seekers and activists of all stripes.” — Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice.

Creativity: Where the Divine and Human Meet

Because creativity is the key to both our genius and beauty as a species but also to our capacity for evil, we need to teach creativity and to teach ways of steering this God-like power in directions that promote love of life (biophilia) and not love of death (necrophilia). Pushing well beyond the bounds of conventional Christian doctrine, Fox’s focus on creativity attempts nothing less than to shape a new ethic.
“Matt Fox is a pilgrim who seeks a path into the church of tomorrow.  Countless numbers will be happy to follow his lead.” –Bishop John Shelby Spong, author, Rescuing the Bible from FundamentalismLiving in Sin

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