Ash Wednesday to Pentecost


  1. The olives' ancient harvest crushed
    Hangs bitter in the evening air,
    The press, sharp etched against the stars,
    Foreshadowing a torturer:
    Wounded by shards of prophecy
    They sense the outline of the day,
    But feel a weight they cannot bear
    As they prepare to watch and pray.
  2. As He prepared to wash their feet,
    To break the Bread, to be betrayed,
    Where they were slow to recognise,
    He cited what the Scriptures said:
    But the entanglements of blood,
    At table and upon a cross,
    Symbiosis of sacrifice,
    Left them unsure of gain and loss.
  3. The wine and oil had made them dull,
    But His forebodings kept Him tense,
    A black cloud hid the glowing moon,
    Evil eclipsing innocence:
    But He knew, even as He prayed,
    The bitter chalice would be pressed,
    A necessary replica
    Of the sweet chalice he had blessed.
  4. Three times their minds deserted Him,
    Foreshadowing their disarray,
    The greatest would deny Him first,
    The others would just run away:
    Yet He could see the blinding vision
    Of the redemption of the Host,
    Knowing that love is loving those
    Who leave you when you need them most.
  5. Lord, may we learn to watch and pray
    In friendship with Your only Son,
    Not for our temporary good
    But for the spoils His triumph won:
    And may we learn to purge ourselves,
    In reverent oblivion
    To lose the limits of ourselves
    And finish what His death began.