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Rebuild our universe,
not only blossoms returning in bloom,
but a transformation of the trees,
like the ailment of a sperm type whale
reconstructed into ambergris
the costly perfume
of the sperm whale’s lethal ailment,
so transform the mountains and all the land
in need of healing and of transforming.

At an inner sea
unconnected to travel lanes of whales,
a fisherman met a five-scarred landlubber
who laughingly told him
the catch was swimming to the right of the boat.
With fish on a fire
the landsman challenged Peter
to lead his vigorous flocks
into mercy’s endless living.
Rebuild my universe,
with immortal mercy the mortar.

Rebuild my house!
a strange request,
of all the dilapidated churches in Assisi,
which one?
and how well redone, if no one is using it?
Why this rebuilding?

All I really wanted was to hold him,
his hand at least,
to feel the nail’s mark, and the big gash in his side
but how could I dare to touch him,
so I chiseled stones
and mixed a lot of mortar.

Whatever rebuilding I did,
there would be a chance to visit with him,
even to ask where to drive a nail,
or how to plumb a wall.
I could not plumb my heart to his
I could have barely dared washed his feet,
as he told us to.
I would have kissed them,
and used my tears to wash them,
but he wanted the whole of the blueprint,
first a palce to pray and make him welcome,
so the order, rebuild my house,
that is what he said,
my house,
my place to live with you,
and not just to feel the nail marks
but to let me wear them.

I always wanted to touch those wounds,
and to count them,
to touch his hands so marked by love,
and all of them,
just touch and get the feel,
and he touched me back.

Third Sunday of Easter
April 10, 2016
Bonaventure Stefun, OFM Cap.

See more reflections from the Year of Mercy


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Capuchin Friars  ♦  Province of St. Augustine  ♦  220—37th Street  ♦  Pittsburgh, PA 15201  ♦  (412) 682-6011