Christ Church Cathedral
for Bridget Tierney
The preacher preaches Luke
preaching Jesus, preaching the
one about the wise man--
man who builds
his house on solid rock.
In my pew I drift behind the veil
scripture pulls over my attention,
until the preacherʼs sidenote:
Todayʼs ordinands number twelve!
Twelve--new testament number
used by my former church
to prevent ordination of women.
Todayʼs twelve is a Newer Testament:
six women, six men receiving
holy orders, the power to preach the word!
The preacher exhorts the twelve
Let your words come from
the solid rock of your heart.
Only then will they become flesh,
only then will they bear fruit in the world.
In my pew, I take the preacherʼs
meaning but reject
Lukeʼs rock for a riper symbol:
pomegranate I halved this morning,
slicing through red rind
to expose solid, but giving
flesh and petals of jeweled seeds
unfurling from the center.
In my distant pew,
I feel my heart,
that seedy pomegranate,
open to joy, to self-acceptance
so full my throat pulses with
a silent Magnificat.
My soul mangnifies the God who ordained me
to this life I live with words,
words from the seedy-center, flesh-exposed
heart of an ordinary woman: oh see how they bear fruit!
Mary Pierce Brosmer