Epiphany B
Sunday 3rd January 2021

Image supplied by Sr Cecilia Prest


Poetry speaks to the heart through the experience of another. The effort it takes to lay aside our own views and feelings and enter into someone else's vision helps us to prepare our hearts to be open to the wisdom of God.

This Sunday's Poetry

[The Journey of the Magi](by T. S. Eliot) describes the experience of the journey from the view of one of the Magi.

This Night a Child is Born (To David: “Your throne shall be established forever.” 2 Samuel 7:16)

To the plucker of strings
slayer of Goliath,
the whole of Palestine,
with fixed borders,
a chain of fortified cities.
The bridle taken out
of the Philistine’s hands.
The Ark in Jerusalem.

Yahweh swore
David’s dynasty
would rule forever.
By a perpetual covenant
his seed would sit
upon the throne.
The gold of the nations
would flow to Zion.
Kings would kneel.

But the scribe’s indigo
ink was not dry
on the Acts of Solomon,
in the Chronicles of Israel,
when Jeroboam cried,
“To your Tents, O Israel,”
tearing up the kingdom,
scattering the pieces.
Perpetuity crashed.

The priests still sang
over the ruins of Zion:
“By the word of the Lord
the heavens were made.
The Lord decides
the number of the stars,
calls each one by its name.
The word cannot fail;
it stands forever.”

Tonight Word
becomes history.
The see of David
sits upon his throne,
a kingdom without fixed
borders. Kings kneel.
bringing gold,
frankincense and myrrh.
His reign is forever.

Kilian Mc Donnell O.S.B. in Swift, Lord, You are not St. John’s University Press. 2003 © The Order of St Benedict Used with Kind Permission.


Immensity cloystered in thy deare wombe,
Now leaves his welbelov'd imprisonment,
There he hath made himselfe to his intent
Weake enough, now into our world to come;
But Oh, for thee, for him, hath th'Inne no roome?
Yet lay him in this stall, and from the Orient,
Starres, and wisemen will travell to prevent
Th'effect of Herods jealous generall doome.
Seest thou, my Soule, with thy faiths eyes, how he
Which fils all place, yet none hold him, doth lye?
Was not his pity towrds thee wondrous high,
That would have need to be pittied by thee?
Kisse him, and with him into Egypt goe,
With his kinde mother, who partakes thy woe.

John Donne