Christmas 4: Holy Innocents

Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”
(Matthew 2:17-18)

Rachel weeps; the Spirit keeps
vigil with the ones who mourn.
One child lives, though many die;
that child will die for all.

Herod paces and erases
innocence across his land.
The tyrant frets; the child-king flees
and grips his mother’s hand.

The deed is done and I am numb;
must Adam’s debt be paid this way?
No, God Himself must lose a son
and tears will be praise one day.

20 Contemplations #8: The Heights

image
Marc Chagall, Detail from "Starry Night", stained glass

Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars!
(Psalm 148:3)

Though He is lowly, they recognise Him,
For He commanded and they were made.
As they burn, they can still hear the hymn
He sung to create them at the Father’s side.
One is elected to proclaim, yet choirs
Sing to herald Him, silently glistening.
The night is coming; if mankind enquires,
What child is this? the host will be listening,
Ready to answer with all heaven’s angels:
Gloria! Gloria! Yet where are they now?
The kings to bow down, the dancers and timbrels?
Herod searches, yet breathes a fuming vow.
But if people ignore Him, rocks will cry out;
Now heavenly fires sparkle and shout…

Easter Wednesday

Some wise men follow, some betray;
some see the star, some walk astray.
Some kings will bow, some kings will kill;
some men will starve, some have their fill.
Some hearts will turn to rock; some stones
will call in praise before His throne.
Our folly becomes wise in Him;
bow down, world’s wise men; know your king.

(Image: Sassetta Giovanni, “Journey of the Magi”)