The military detail assigned to crucify a man
usually beat him into submission with whips
so that he would be more docile
to the rest of the excruciating process.
you felt their hatred for you,
a citizen of an occupied nation.
You were alone and they beat you.
Yours were the stripes
that brought us,
How can we tell you
what awe is in our hearts
as we see you open yourself
to this humiliation and pain
and so heal the wounds;
wounds that we have inflicted
on each other and on ourselves
by our sins of prejudice, cruelty,
neglect and selfishness.
Every lonely and persecuted
human being in the world
somehow knows your presence to them
in their suffering.
Please give us the privilege
of seeing through the veil of your suffering
to the love you had for your Father
and for your confidence in him
and his love for you.
Let us carry in our own bodies
the mystery of your dying
so that your life may also shine forth
on our faces,
in our bodies.