To be quite truthful, Jesus:
I cannot really claim to know
just what you meant by “Moses’ seat,”
and what you meant to say about
authority, interpretation of the law,
or representing God. For certain
we have called a host of people “Lord,”
or “Teacher,” “my Professor,” “Mom,” or “Dad.”
Whatever may be true about the Truth
Divine, how cloudy and obscured it is
when heard from human tongues or hands!
Just like a cosmic game of “Telephone”
in which the loss of clarity means life for some
and death for many more. But Jesus, we
have heard your words through intermediaries,
assembled generations after you had taught.
From you to eager followers who did not, I know,
take notes, from them to others who, perhaps,
would write a word or two, to others yet
who finally recorded what they heard on reeds,
on parchment, vellum, paper, with a press,
and on to me today reminding me once more
that greatness is the act of service,
and hubris is just asking to be tumbled into dust.
Once more my memory returns to a great soul,
who truly in her life embodied what you said
was great, whose smile was the mirror of her soul,
who sparked new life in all who saw her,
who heard her words, who knew with her such joy.
I’m sure she was a human, not a plaster saint,
because her passing pains me still, and woe, ye world,
that misappraises pride for what what is truly great.