Oh, no, not this harsh and dreadful
Given on this night of Your glory.

Send me to fast in the desert.
Tell me to light a thousand candles.
Command me to give my body to be burned.

But do not ask me to love as You love me.
I simply don’t have it in me.

This world is filled with Judases,
Thieves who betray with a kiss,
Liars who despise all that You profess.

I agree with the Sons of Thunder:
Call down fire from heaven!

So much of me simply wants to see
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
Who cares if we all go blind and toothless?

I keep stumbling over this command
To do what I cannot do  – by myself.

But wait…  oh, yes, I begin to see it now,
A hidden invitation – to beg of You,
To stretch the muscles of my heart.

—Fr. J. Michael Sparough, S.J. is a retreat master, spiritual director, playwright, and poet at the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House