The shortest verse in the Bible is, famously, John 11:35:  "Jesus wept."  --  Jesus weeps again in a poem composed by Marie J. Peck in memory of her mother, entitled "On This Easter Day Jesus Weeps."  --  Marie composed this work exactly five years ago, when the Iraq war was only one month old.  --  Five years later, it is possible to begin to appreciate how prescient a poem it is.  --  Thanks to Marie for allowing us to reproduce it on this web site....

1.

ON THIS EASTER DAY JESUS WEEPS
By Marie J. Peck

April 20, 2003

Jesus weeps . . .

for the crimes against humanity
that my country commits
in his name.

Jesus weeps . . .

for the people of Iraq
who have been maimed and killed
whose families, and homes, and civilization
have been reduced to rubble
by the weapons of shock and awe
that my country
has rained upon them
committing crimes against humanity
in his name.

Jesus weeps . . .

for the Palestinian people
who are daily maimed and killed
whose families, homes, and olive orchards
are daily bulldozed to rubble
as, too, their valiant advocate Rachel Corrie
employing
weapons of shock and awe
daily provided by my country
for the joint US/Israeli crimes against humanity
committed
in his name.

Jesus weeps . . .

for the people of Afghanistan
whom my country has twice abandoned
at successive wars' ends
to rubble and friendly fire
delivered
by our weapons of shock and awe
successive wars in which
my country enlisted Afghan tribal assistance
to defeat those deemed to be mutual enemies
USSR in the first
Al Qaeda and the Taliban in the second
Osama Bin Laden's
9/11
unintended consequences
blowback
from the military might
flexed by my country
in the sacred lands of the Middle East
in his name.

Jesus weeps . . .

for the people of the next country
and other countries which in the fullness of time
may be consumed within the maw
of the crimes against humanity
committed with weapons of shock and awe
and/or
mass destruction
in future wars of aggression
to be initiated by my country
in his name.

Jesus weeps . . .

for the flower of our youth
the young women and men
our troops
betrayed by our country's self-serving so-called leaders
a cabal
who seized the helm of our ship of state
in a coup d'état in the year 2000
many of whom did little or no military service themselves
but now order our daughters and sons
to enter the hell of unjust ill-conceived war
raining death and destruction
upon a faceless enemy
remotely sensed
by and with weapons of shock and awe
in his name.

Jesus weeps . . .

for the bright young minds
of my country's very young
many of whom are today
being starved of food, education, and health care
and tomorrow
will inherit the burden
of earning the money and contributing the taxes
that will eventually
down through the generations
pay for the weapons of shock and awe
and
the weapons of mass destruction
and the crimes against humanity
that have already been committed and
that perhaps are secretly being planned to be committed
by the cabal of imperial extremists
in his name.

Jesus weeps . . .

for the people of my country
who are victims of crimes against humanity
committed by my country
against its own citizens
the most fragile of whom
must sacrifice food, shelter, employment, and health care
so that a privileged few
can enjoy the profits earned from wars of pre-emption in endless
crimes against humanity
committed at home and abroad
in his name.

Jesus weeps . . .

for the lost vision of the "founding mothers" and "fathers"
of this once proud country
a vision lost to the insidiously creeping fascism
imposed by our country's senile self-serving so-called leaders
the cabal
whose lust for power
and exercise thereof
daily destroys freedom and democracy
at home and abroad
by manufacturing
promulgating
selling
and deploying
weapons of shock and awe
and
weapons of mass destruction
with which to strike fear in hearts and minds at home and abroad
in his name.

On this Easter Day, Jesus weeps
for the crimes my country commits against humanity in his name.

On this Easter Day, with Jesus, I, too, weep
for the crimes my country commits against humanity in my name.

On this Easter Day, with Jesus, and with me, my mother weeps.
May the Lord Jesus Christ rest her soul.  Amen.

—A prayer conceived and composed by Marie Elizabeth Johnston Peck in Memory of her Mother Marie Anna Christina Voigt Johnston on April 20, 2003.