Our readings for this Sunday, the Third Sunday of Easter, the Resurrection of the Lord, are here.
These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homilies from:
- May 4, 2014 Cycle A, 5PM Mass
The poems Fr Dennis references are:
- i thank You God for most this amazing by e.e. cummings, April 27, 2014 Cycle A
- The Servant-Girl at Emmaus (A Painting by Velázquez) by Denise Levertov, on April 1 (yes, April Fool’s Day), 2023, Cycle A (email)
In 2014, —
- D2 opened with a joke. (!) “Someone gets in a cab in New York City. After a bit, the passenger has a question for the driver and, from the rear seat, taps his shoulder. The driver violently reacts to the touch, almost careens into a bus, swings back almost over the meridian, back to the curb, and stops just short of a plate glass window. The passenger says, ‘I’m so sorry!; I didn’t realize you were so shell-shocked from all these years driving a cab!’ The driver said, ‘Oh no — it wasn’t you! This is my first day driving a cab; I’ve spent the last twenty-five years driving a hearse.'” 🙂
- Jesus in the Resurrection has that sort of startle effect.
- In his apparitions, Jesus doesn’t make much of his resurrection, or why he keeps popping up all over the place — other than the obvious reason that he’s forgiving them (for abandoning him, betraying him, and giving way to despair (Cleopas)) and offering “Peace.”
- It is notable how gently Jesus forgives — in a delicate way, a gentle way … so he doesn’t startle or haunt or afflict them beyond the abruptness of his appearances and vanishings.
- Last week’s e.e. cummings poem, i thank You God for most this amazing, also works this week, particularly with the line “(now the ears of my ears awake and // now the eyes of my eyes are opened)” echoing Luke 24:32 (“With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him.”)
- In an email exchange with D2, he passed on Velázquez’s Servant Girl (c. 1620, Dublin, National Gallery of Ireland, Beit Collection) (our image today) and Denise Levertov’s ekphrastic poem composed to it, “The Servant-Girl at Emmaus (A Painting by Velázquez). The painting depicts a young woman listening through a kitchen window onto a conversation, looking much like the Emmaus dinner. Interestingly, that corner of the painting had been overpainted and a later cleaning revealed the interesting composition of the ordinary life (the servant girl) as central to the composition with the Divine in the background, but providing the dynamism to the painting.
The image, the Levertov poem, and one more, Kitchen Maid with Supper at Emmaus, or The Mulata—after the painting by Diego Velàzquez, ca. 1619, by Natasha Trethewey, are available on this page of the SALT Lectionary, if you wish a single site for reflection on gospel in imagined image and poetic words. (And, yes, in case you were wondering, I received D2’s email prior to the SALT Lectionary arriving in my inbox.) 🙂
And, of course, the Wiki link to the broader discussion of the paintings and academic (non-theological) discourse.