Reflective Reading of the Gospels

Written on: May 1, 2023

The following reflective poems are based on the Gospels of John 21, Mark 16, Matthew 28, Luke 24. Sr. Eileen White, GNSH offers her phrasing, insight, and her own questions, for us to ponder whenever we need hope renewed.

Resurrection characters weave their stories into the stories of our lives —
into the fabric of our fear and our faith


Mary Magdalene‘s tears in the garden
and her leap of joy at the sound of her name. . .

Those two walking downcast from Jerusalem and hope
toward an Emmaus despair and disappointment,
only to see him finally, in the stranger,
in the wonder and the burning within them
at his breaking open of scriptures,
in the eye-opener of his breaking of bread. . .

The crowd of them, cowering,
locked in worry for their own lives,
empty of meaning, and empty of hope,
discovering him there in their midst,
greeting them with the peace they’d misplaced in their terror,
breathing on them the Spirit of forgiveness
a Spirit that could unlock others —
breath that could free them from the paralysis of guilt and sin. . .

The doubter, Thomas, left outside the circle of believers by his own choice,
aching to see, to touch, to trust again,
but unwilling to risk being deceived,
to risk being vulnerable to broken dreams,
broken heart, broken promise
then awed and trembling and embraced
and forgiven by his Lord and God. . .

The fishing boat full of frustration and confusion,
fatigue and fog, seeing at last, “It is the Lord!”
and rushing to a baffling breakfast fire to
be with him again, wanting to be near,
yet too overwhelmed to speak the questions,
to seek the answers, to ask the reasons . . .

The two running hard in complicated, confused reaction to the women’s words—
so unaccustomed to paying attention to them,
yet wanting to trust their word—
these women who had not run away–
these women who had stayed–
these women who were faithful . . .

Resurrection characters weave their stories into the stories of our lives —
into the fabric of our fear and of our faith . . .

For Silent Reflection

Where are we in the story? And where is our world in the story?
Where is our earth in the story?

Are we at the empty tomb?
In the crowded room?
Fishing for distraction from the horror we have seen?
Up at dawn and seeking the slightest trace of him?
Crying in the garden?
Walking away from hopes and dreams?
Telling the others of our insane hope?
Recognizing him at last?
Sharing the meal?

Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!
But how is He alive to those whose loved ones are gone? to the sick?
to those ignored or forgotten?
To those who need proof and who have no food, no comfort, no future?
How is Jesus revealing Himself to those who mourn?
Where is Jesus found on the road back to Kiyv or Jerusalem?
How does He break open the Scripture to us today?
Where is Jesus alive in our communities? in our sisters? in us? among us?

Featured photo courtesy of Steve Saunders/Unsplash

One thought on “Reflective Reading of the Gospels

  1. Sister Eileen Spanier says:

    Awesome!! Vivid “pictures”… I feel I am right there…
    Thanks so much!!

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