Passion Poems: Christ’s Yom Kippur and Uninjured Tongue

As we continue to consider our Lord’s Passion and await his resurrection, here are two poems that reflect upon his saving work accomplished for us. Both are included in my book, The Infant Priest: Hymns and Poems, available through Amazon.

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Christ’s Yom Kippur

Within that lightless vestibule
that Roman claws would raze,
See Aaron’s brood with crimson gifts
through wafting incense gaze,
To paint a throne where God unseen
beholds the fruit of veins,
And with the soap of severed life
removes his people’s stains.
‘Til comes the Priest clad but in skin,
no lamb or goat his gift,
Upon the cruel and gory throne
his offering to uplift,
To pave the way, with flesh and blood,
for all those bathed in grace,
To stand as priests within the veil,
before the Father’s face.

Uninjured Tongue

That head, which angels with ceaseless praise adorn,
Is pierced with crowded thorns.
That face, which our God with grace and beauty lit,
Is marred by sinners’ spit.
Those eyes, outshining the sun’s most piercing light,
Are dull as sable night.
Those ears, accustomed to praise from heaven’s host,
Must hear his haters boast.
That mouth, whose wisdom the wisest could enthrall,
Tastes vinegar and gall.
Those feet, whose footstool is this terrestrial sphere,
To bloody wood adhere.
Those hands, which stretched out the heavens like a tent,
By spikes in twain are rent.
That tongue, uninjured, shall cry from that cursed tree,
A prayer of love for me.

Based on “An Exercise of Repentance from our Lord’s Passion”
in the Sacred Meditations of Johann Gerhard.

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