Friday, August 29, 2014

In Passione Sancti Ioannis Baptistæ

O house of Zachary greeted with a voice 
The barren one’s infant leaps in her womb 
Reproach removed, thy child doth rejoice 
‘Tis the Ark carrying the Victor over the tomb 

Elizabeth, thy husband at the altar of incense 
Met with great fear the angel hailed as Gabriel 
Zachary, thy prayer has been heard, hence 
Your wife bears a son, thinkest thou surreal 

Armed with the spirit and power of Elias 
His voice in the wilderness will cry for penance 
More than a prophet, your son, and pious 
Thy disbelief has reduced thee to silence 

O priestly voice cut off from the outside world 
Hear the inner Voice of God speaking to thee 
His plan of salvation is about to be unfurled 
Thy son preparing the way for this Mystery 

At thy house is the blessed who has believed 
For three months she will stay with thy wife 
She too, although a Virgin, has conceived 
And she shall bring forth the Bread of Life 

O house of Zachary thy kindred greets thy son 
Circumcised before witnesses more than a few 
Isaias foretold of this child of God’s creation 
The dividing line of Testaments Old and New 

What shall he be called, a kinfolk’s name no less 
Zachary, the name given to his father the priest 
Nay, the pronouncement of angelic lips: Ioannes 
His name be, on locusts and honey shall he feast 

Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel, Zachary speaks 
For salvation from our enemies is made present 
Ninety-nine may be safe, but one lost He seeks 
Whether that be male or female, rich or peasant 

You, my son, prophet of the Appeaser of wrath 
Prepare ye the way for heaven to meet earth 
From the desert shall you make straight His path
This Child of Spirit presented by Virgin birth 

The repentant shall come to thee to be baptized 
The Jordan shall hear many confessions of guilt 
And now comes to thee prophecies now realized 
The Cornerstone on which the house of God is built 

I should be baptized by Thee, the precursor pleads 
For within Thee there is found not spot or stain 
Suffer it be so now, fulfilling all justice’s needs 
That which I do My heavenly Father ordain 

Thou brood of vipers O Pharisee and Sadducee 
Think ye not Abraham an enemy of the Lamb 
Faith’s Father longed to hear: “Ecce Agnus Dei” 
And see Him Who’ll be sacrificed for thy scam 

The Tetrarch’s fear renders the baptizer incarcerated 
The femme fatale of Herodias, a promise discussed 
Dance for me and I give thee till thy heart is sated 
The man of God beheaded because of Herod’s lust 

The netherworld where waits Patriarch and Prophet 
Men of God, continue with prayer and fasting 
For He Whom thou hast foretold, thus have I met 
He will come and take us to life everlasting