(The Dictatorship, Argentina, 1976 – 1983)
They’re rolling bodies from the soiled airplane,
they’ll hose the cargo hold when all are gone.
Did they cry ‘Our Father’ before were slain
not by the sea but by all who looked on?
Truth: so hard to hear that we dismiss it.
With Pontius, hands are washed in hypocrisy.
Not us, in crimes in our name complicit,
We choose systemic evil not to see.
We leave to Jesus burden of the cost,
to carry the pain, to accept the blame.
We roll him out and dump him with the lost:
For this he was born, and for this he came.
Look on, he becomes our mocking mass song.
Onlookers, felons – we compose the throng.
- Lamentations 3:63
- John 18:37
- Ted Witham
- Published in Sonnets for Sundays
This Good Friday I pray for the poor and oppressed.
Jesus suffering on the cross is Jesus suffering with the oppressed.
- I pray for children and women and men in refugee camps in Syria and in neighbouring countries and around the world.
- I pray for the people of Gaza.
- I pray for people in the slums of Mumbai and Lagos and in the barrios of Rio de Janeiro.
- I pray for women and other vulnerable people trafficked in many parts of the world.
- I pray for civilians caught up in conflict situations.
- I pray for health-workers, including Médecins sans frontiers, and for other humanitarian workers, who are dedicated to helping the poor and oppressed.
On these people, and people like them, the heaviest burden of the Covid-19 pandemic will fall.
The featured image, ‘Jesus Falls for the Second Time’, comes from the Stations of the Cross, Church of Notre Dame des Champs, Normandy, France.
Image courtesy: Paul Davis