Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sonnet: Mandatum Novum

The table’s set with symbols of salvation,
Which tasted, eaten, shared, would bring to mind
Those darker days they lived as oppressed nation,
A people with no hope, as slaves confined.
With grateful hearts, they share that recollection
And sing the hymn that echoes Miriam’s praise,
And in this meal, a chance for deep reflection:
Thus freed and loved, they serve God all their days.
But now they hear themselves called slaves once more
As gracious Teacher loves without reserve
And takes a towel, kneeling to the floor,
Cleans dirty feet, and shows them how to serve.
           Thus claimed by new commandment we are freed
           To lives that humbly stoop at neighbor’s need.