A prayer for St Patrick’s Day

He returned.

I can’t get over that: he got away, he got free, he came home. Then he returned,

to the scene of his slavery, to the landscape of his discontent, to the house of his enemies.

He returned,

not for revenge, but to drive out the poison which had imprisoned him,

to run off bloody oppression,

to lance their guilt with love; with prayers for his persecutors, vipers though they may be.

As though Eve were to return to absolve the serpent;

Adam to glue the apple back on to the tree.

God grant us the grace to love those who persecute us; to persist in love when hatred seeps its poison into the very ground upon which we stand. Give us the patience to rest in the knowledge that you will, in time, make all things new, even us, even our enemies, even so. Give us the passion to make a difference while we wait, waging prayer against despair, outliving death, outdoing cunning and guile with the innocent wisdom of the gospel. Amen.

 

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