Historical setting: 602 C.E. Luxeuil
We’re celebrating the Feast of the Resurrection today, by the Irish calendar, that is. The somber chanting turns to halleluiahs, and after the familiar but still confusing readings from the gospels for this time we are all supposed to be happy again, just as we were when Jesus sat at the table with us and offered himself in the bread and the wine. How quickly we forget the impending tragedy and we simply recall the familiar people gathered at the table.
I gaze over the crowds who are ever-pressing in together to get a glimpse of the abbot with his arms raised giving blessings to us all however many of us are here. It is the largest crowd ever, I’ve been told. So where are my two nearly men, Greg and Gabe? They aren’t here in our usual place to stand in this oratorio. It’s where I expected they would be. I study the crowd stretching my hopes around every hooded head that could possibly be the right size and in a pair together, as they always are. I don’t see them anywhere.
That pulse of panic for missing family members ravages my imagination. It’s a terror for a parent that none of these holy men could possibly understand. Where are my sons? Dear God, Stay close. I trace my way back to our campsite. Then I go on back into my prayer places of last night, then back to the place I had met Brother Servant and the baro not far from the stables of Luxeuil, and there they are in the stables brushing down the horses of the visiting nobility just chatting with the stable groom. Is it anger or gratitude owning my speech just now?
“There you are! I’ve been looking all over. How could you go…?”
“Oh, Papa! Look at the beautiful horses! Baro Dithrum said Dux Waldalenus set them aside here for the abbot’s envoy of messengers. He said they are looking for more men to train to be the abbot’s guard.” Greg is just babbling on and on.
Gabe clarifies, “We told Baro Dithrum we’ve only ridden on our farm mule, but he said we could easily learn to ride horses. He asked us about our farm and he said he knows you. But he calls you Ezra like the brothers here.”’
“This is the day your mother expects us home. Let’s go now!”