A Mother’s Sleep

So tired she was
but sleep kept its distance,
refusing to dry the mother’s tears.

So silent the night
but she could still hear
loud hammering of nails, angry shouts and jeers.

So alone she felt,
as he must have been,
when to God’s hands He would have been clinging.

So quiet the home
though a new son was here,
himself full of grief – what must he be pondering?

So sad to think
that His loving heart and hands,
now cold and still, would do no more.

So comforting to recall
how they found him again
when they lost him on the way, so many years before.

So clearly the words came back to her –
Because He that is mighty hath done great things to me:
            and holy is His name.

So sure the hope
of sunrise tomorrow,
God’s promise that He is ever and always the same.

Then the mother slept.



His Name Was Joy

The young maiden was first to hear
the good news from on high.
God’s Spirit stilled her fear,
as she handed her life to Him.

His Name was joy,
He came to us thus –
A little boy,
God with us.

The just man turned his thoughts to sleep,
the angel’s voice brought peace,
God’s message clear and deep,
as he opened his home to Him.

His Name was joy,
He came to us thus –
A little boy,
God with us.

The child and his mother both heard
warm greetings with pure joy,
God’s grace on the blessed,
as they readied the way for Him.

His Name was joy,
He came to us thus –
A little boy,
God with us.

The shepherds were amazed to see
bright light clothing the night.
God’s choir sang His glory,
as they hastened over to Him.

His Name was joy,
He came to us thus –
A little boy,
God with us.

The devout man and woman knew
the blessing of the Child,
God’s promise now come true,
as they uttered their praise of Him.

His Name was joy,
He came to us thus –
A little boy,
God with us.

The wise men did rejoice to go
the way the star would lead,
God’s light for them to know,
as they offered their gifts to Him.

His Name was joy,
He came to us thus –
A little boy,
God with us.

artwork by Elijah Michael Tan

Cross of the Son of God

Near the cross
They watched and waited.
Some laughed, some cried,
One’s eyes were opened and he saw
The Son of God.

Beside the cross
They hung and laboured,
One’s last minutes bitter, the other’s hopeful,
Calling out to be saved, by
The Son of God.

At the cross
They kept vigil and received,
Her sorrow profound, his sadness sincere,
The gift of a son, the gift of a mother, from
The Son of God.

On the cross
He bled and suffered,
Heart pierced, soul pained,
Pouring out love, offering forgiveness,
The Son of God.

In the cross
We hope and live.
For its pain, He won glory,
For its death, life, as He triumphed,
The Son of God.

written for Spotlight (September 2013)

The Other Yes

The Other Yes

When you are troubled and perturbed,
your plans are falling apart,
would you follow His promptings
when you can’t imagine where you could even start?

His answer was “yes”.

When you are worried and weary,
everyone is turning you away,
would you trust that He will sustain
and see you through, come what may?

His answer was “yes”.

When you are frightened and anxious,
pursued, and running from your foes,
would you let Him lead you His way,
and follow where He goes?

His answer was “yes”.


Years on, they asked –
Is not this the carpenter’s son?

The answer was “yes”.


The Man I Preach

The Man I Preach

He looked at me and called me by name.
This man, he looked like any of us
But there was something about him I couldn’t see.
What did he know? What did he want with me?

And Jesus looking upon him, said: Thou art Simon the son of Jona.
Thou shalt be called Cephas,
which is interpreted Peter.

Peter & JesusWho was he?
Who spoke with Elijah, who fed the thousands,
Who pulled me out of water,
Who healed the sick and calmed the storm?
Then I thought I knew – He was the Lord!

And Jesus answering said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona:
because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee,
but my Father who is in heaven.

Then he said he was leaving –
What did he mean, to eat his body and drink his blood?
What did he mean, bent before us to wash our feet?

And then I let him down.
Exactly as he had said that I would.

Why was this happening? Where was he going? Why did he say he had to die?
I couldn’t understand it.
I could only cry.

Jesus answered him: Wilt thou lay down thy life for me?
Amen, amen, I say to thee, the cock shall not crow,
till thou deny me thrice.

Then he died.

Would it have been different if I hadn’t denied him?
He was gone, and I no longer understood.
The sun rose and set as always
but each day was dark.
When would these dark days be over? What were we to do now?

But he came back!
And with him by us, we caught more than a boatload of fish!
Was it all well again? Had he forgotten what I had done?
Then he said to feed his sheep, and I knew –
He remembered but he loved me as he did the first day he called me.

And then he was lifted away and we waited.
But there were no more dark days
for we knew what he said would come to be.

And I send the promise of my Father upon you:
but stay you in the city
till you be endued with power from on high.

Then the Spirit came! And I understood –

the Lord is a servant, water becomes wine,
the dead have new life, blessed are the poor!
We had to go to the ends of the earth! The lambs had to be fed!
We had to tell the world: He is Lord – forever!

But Peter said to them: Do penance: and be baptized every one of you
in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins.
And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Peter’s journey to Pentecost

Bible quotes from the Douay-Rheims Bible
Illustration by my talented niece JCT

Written for Spotlight (May 2013)