Moses ascends a hill as the battle rages below,
stretching out his hands to heaven, arms uplifted.
Interceding, full of love for his people,
he becomes a channel of God’s grace for them.
United to God through his prayer and devotion,
he is also united to his brethren, in compassion.
Climbing the mountain, he bears them in his heart,
and abiding there in the pose of adoration and trust,
he bears God’s love and power for their sake,
flowing over him and through him like a torrent.
The battle is in the people’s favor
until his arms begin to tire
and the gesture of open, empty, upraised hands
begins to slacken through his frail exhaustion.
But he is not alone, this great man, yet this little child,
and his friends come to his side, supporting him.
And the battle is quickly won.
This is not the only time
when open, empty, upraised hands
began to turn away, and the attitude of childhood
was tempted to give way to something else.
In the garden of Eden too, Adam was a priest,
bearing God into the whole creation
and bearing this creation, in himself,
back to the God who made it.
The tempter comes and throw him,
and the one whom he so deeply loves,
into fragmentation and estrangement,
the slavery of pain, sin, and death.
And only after a long journey, centuries to tell
—in exile from the garden,
wandering through the desert—
do we, their children, discover the garden again.
And this occurs by the union of the hill and the garden,
like Moses’ hands, upraised in loving intercession,
and the filial priesthood of Adam and Eve,
not turned away into sinful disobedience,
but consummating the loving gift of self,
springing from the complete, all-enfolding Gift of God.
Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior, and Beloved,
and his precious and beautiful Mother, who is ours as well.
These two together abide,
through the garden of anguish
and the hill of crucifixion,
in the gesture of open, empty, upraised hands,
receiving from God his never-ending Love,
and surrendering themselves to him in childlike trust.
In this way such Love is free to penetrate
into the deepest recesses of our darkness and our sin,
to break it open from within, freeing us,
and illumining us with its radiant, healing rays.
And these receptive hands are not truly empty,
for they clasp the hands of the One who is loved,
refusing to let go, even across the barrier of death.
Such loving embrace, such trustful intimacy,
cannot but blossom, now and eternally,
in the beauty and the joy of Resurrection.