Pentecost +9, Year B

Musical Reflection
Beds are Burning by Midnight Oil



God of true abundance,
in whom nothing is lost
and all are fed:
liberate us
from meagre rations
of scarce and grudging love
for which we must compete;
show us another kingdom
which stills our all-consuming fear
and fills us with new hope;
through Jesus Christ, the peace of creation.
First Reading
Brother Francis to Brother Leone
by W. S. Di Piero

In my dream I watched it
from a windowsill Come see this
raptor’s shadow hushed
down green-brick tenements
Bulk beak and feather struck
and tumbled aslant the air
with sparrow or chimney swift
Wilderness breathes wherever
we are and headed to O’Hare
late fall I saw on its vague
bare branch a goshawk
grace yes and auspicious terror
I should watch with him
I should be poorer than
any wing of the air

If you could have seen
(this is a different story)
above us cloud studies
out of Constable
Pescadero’s sandstone cliffs
steeped and chewed by tides
I held Brother Antonio’s hand
so afraid was he the cliff
would crumble What was that?
as if what then came had
already happened the osprey’s
sea-foam breast
sign we said of the Holy Spirit
pounding the wind
Lift and save us it stormed
up beneath our feet
Alone in Inverness
I saw a kestral stop
in the blue and stoop
and icy blowtorch points
pecked my hands and feet
blood frothed from my side

Closer now my minders
watch and bear with me
while I’m walking barefoot
through a Tucson suburb
mesquite and prickly pear
a young peregrine
surveils me from the eye
of midmorning’s sun
Last night Easter Saturday
I saw a deer enter
a bare-chested Yaqui ancient
who obeyed the dance
danced through him the poor
we think aren’t with us
everywhere the deer-dancer’s
concrete ramada beside the freeway
and reservation projects

Brother Ash
the less I become of what
God made me the more real
I am in His heart
Let durable goods be ashes
to pour on our heads
Brother Wing
keep me in my place
on lower Market Street
with that bare-chested man
bird of beautiful want
speechifying clothed
in chaps rat-food blanket
and cherry running shoes
Lady Poverty at his side
I walked Avenue A
knee-deep in crows spirits
of murderers and suicides
croaking Whatever’s given
I’ll take away
Drenched in a Jersey storm
I tried to send my spirit
to God my core my sphere
I asked the hawk Who are you?
but in some nameless place
doubled-up overcoats pushed
oxcarts past me through mud
and hungry gray children
ate their cardboard name tags
Keep and bless such images
of our own killing kind?
Buzzards slice the silence
over our heads waiting
for us their food song
How little it takes to complete
a world to find what suffices
To Brother Fire I offer
our endless poor-men’s wars
our starved ruined planet
song of thrush and whitethroat
beaks of meaningless fire
piercing our hands and feet
and offer wealth to Brother Ash
and waste of blood to Brother Rag.

Second Reading
The Wind’s Measure
by Peter Munro

The length of the wind runs from mid-May to murder.
The length of the wind runs from January through joy.
The wind runs as long as the right hand’s first finger
points to the sun after thunder.
The wind gallops prayerward
like a horse held in the palm of a rock,
no taller than a knee bent for the sake of singing.
The wind weighs more than the fossilized horse and stretches from
fingernail to praise.
The length of the wind runs from mid-May to mercy, January through
Unto the broken, dwelling in a broken, promised land, the wind drops a hammer
and some are warmed and some are chilled and some laugh and some die.
Silently through the nuclear physicist, the wind wicks
loud as paper-scraps trailing in the wind’s wake,
igniting an empiricist, fragrant through tallow.
The wind strikes the wind like rice in a paddy.
The wind scatters petals like blossoms of napalm.
The wind snaps the backs of malnourished conquistadors bowed down to gold.
It is the wind who estimates poverty in moments by the method of moments,
who assesses want in units of amass.
It is the wind who shakes America by the ovaries,
runs the length of revolution, all the calories in a dollar.
The length of the wind runts from mid-March to hunger.
The length of the wind grunts from Saturday through sorrow.
The wind flutters nothing but orgasms and afterplay.
The wind numbers seminarians more numinous than semen.
The wind is a mote on the wind.
The wind is the dust that measures time in footsteps.
The wind is the word in the throat of the dust.
The length of the wind runs from midwife to marvel.
The wind ribbons out within mid-May and mourning and dust
is the voice the wind whickers glory, the wind whickers grief.

Gospel Reading
John 6:1-21

After this Jesus went across the Galilee Sea (that is, the Tiberias Sea). A large crowd followed him, because they had seen the miraculous signs he had done among the sick. Jesus went up a mountain and sat there with his disciples. It was nearly time for Passover, the Jewish festival.

Jesus looked up and saw the large crowd coming toward him. He asked Philip, “Where will we buy food to feed these people?” Jesus said this to test him, for he already knew what he was going to do.

Philip replied, “More than a half year’s salary worth of food wouldn’t be enough for each person to have even a little bit.”

One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, “A youth here has five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that for a crowd like this?”

Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass there. They sat down, about five thousand of them. Then Jesus took the bread. When he had given thanks, he distributed it to those who were sitting there. He did the same with the fish, each getting as much as they wanted. When they had plenty to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather up the leftover pieces, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves that had been left over by those who had eaten.

When the people saw that he had done a miraculous sign, they said, “This is truly the prophet who is coming into the world.” Jesus understood that they were about to come and force him to be their king, so he took refuge again, alone on a mountain.

When evening came, Jesus’ disciples went down to the lake. They got into a boat and were crossing the lake to Capernaum. It was already getting dark and Jesus hadn’t come to them yet. The water was getting rough because a strong wind was blowing. When the wind had driven them out for about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the water. He was approaching the boat and they were afraid. He said to them, “I Am. Don’t be afraid.” Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and just then the boat reached the land where they had been heading.

Musical Reflection
Another Day in Paradise by Phil Collins


from Refugee and Migrant Service, Aotearoa NZ, adapted
Lord, clear our eyes that we may see
the suffering of the hungry.
Unstop our ears that we may hear
the cries of those in deep despair.
Release our fettered feet to tread
paths where we may some comfort spread.
Unbind our hands that they may move,
the fullness of your love to prove.
Unloose our tongues that we may seek
your words of hope and love to speak.
Lord, fill our hearts that we might be
your servants to the refugees. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

O Divine Womb,
birthing forth the river of blessing which runs through all,
Soften the ground of our being,
and hallow in us a space for the planting of thy presence.
In our depths, sow thy seed with its greening-power
that we might be midwives to thy Reign.
Then, let each of our actions
bear fruit in accordance with thy desire.
Impart to us the wisdom to bring forth the gifts of the earth
and share them daily according to the needs of each being,
And restore that which has been usurped
by injustice to its rightful owners,
as we restore to others that which is not our own.
Do not let us be seduced
by that which would divert us from our purpose,
but make us sensitive to the moment at hand.
For from thy fertile soil is born the creativity,
the life-energy, and the dance,
from birthing to birthing. Ameyn.

Musical Reflection
Hunger Strike by Temple of the Dog


May we who have been touched
by the Word made flesh
be God’s body for the world;
God’s hands to bring blessings,
God’s senses to bring glory,
in the promise of creation restored;

and the blessing of God,
the Overflowing Font, the Living Water, and the Flowing River,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.



Artwork by Banksy

Invocation and Blessing from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Beds are Burning by Midnight Oil

Poem Brother Francis to Brother Leone by W.S. Di Piero

Poem The Wind’s Measure by Peter Munro

Musical Reflection Another Day in Paradise by Phil Collins

Prayer from On Frequent Journeys

Aramaic Lord’s Prayer by Mark Hathaway

Musical Reflection Hunger Strike by Temple of the Dog

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