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                            The Epic of Jesus the Christ

(We've had epics in the past that tell of heroic deeds of men and demigods of myth, the earliest sung by poets. In Western literature there's the Iliad and the Odyssey which scholars believe were composed by a blind Greek poet Homer. His work served as a model for later writers. Greek and Roman literary critics laid down rules based on Homer, which included an invocation, a dignified style and a placement called in media res (in the middle of things―it didn't begin at the beginning).

The French had an epic called Song of Roland; the English, Beowulf; the Spanish, Poem of El Cid; and the Germans, the Nibelungenlied (lied = a song).   There's others such as Dante's Divine Comedy and Milton's Paradise Lost.  Here's an effort to compose an epic about the greatest hero of all time, The One Who truly deserves an epic!)

                                                   * * * * * *

O help us sing of Christ in story, of Jesus, His Greatness and  His Glory!   O we of frailed being, of veiled eyes in seeing.  He suffered for our sake not as a demigod of myth but as The God Who united Himself to our flesh and kind, The Savior  Who could've commanded heavenly legions, but instead combated evil and darkness by His virtuous life and His stunning, heroic sacrifice.   He was the Greek Christos, "the anointed one," the Light of the World,

His coming down to earth was necessitated by the predicament brought about by Adam and Eve, the first human beings. While Eve was instrumental in what happened, Adam represented the race, and made a decisive choice for the race: for their progeny.   Sadly, he disobeyed and its consequences have fallen on us, something akin a rich man who loses his wealth, and no longer has it it to bequeath to his descendants.

Creation
It's beyond our grasp, our understanding,
How something comes from nothingness;
But for God, His will commanding:
It becomes existent, and nothing less.

What He's bidden forth, and bade,
Are all the creatures made.

With threads sewn unseen,
A body's knit unto a soul:
The two, with naught between,
Together form a whole.

As God doth bind,
We become our kind.

The creation of Adam, was when
Our earthling race began,
From that moment, then,
Had come the appearance of man.

While Adam emerg'd from the dust of earth,
Eve differ'd from him, in manner of birth:
From Adam's rib, God did fashion her,
From that part of him, did her life bestir.

From the body's protective bone
That shields the inner us, and heart,
From that costal part, his own,
Came woman: at her very start.

From Hebrew ish for man, came woman, isha:
And the woman, she, was called this, Eva.

O there, in the morning rays of the human dawn,
Her body in being, from Adam forth was drawn.

Adam said of her, so fresh, so pristine pure,
She's "bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh,"
And her beauty did Adam's eye allure,
And his heart she caught as if in mesh.

Eve was created a helpmate to be ,
With intellect, and will made free,
The second of genders God designed,
The pattern fore'er for human kind.

She was a creature very like his own!
And no longer was Adam, a human alone.
The two were set by God a task to obey:
Eat not of a certain fruit, the Lord did say.

The Fall from Grace

Alas, O woe!
For all our kind
There lurked a peril so,
Upon a limb entwined!

O there, when our kind had just begun,
There evil spoke, with a forked tongue!
Its cunning intent, was to evil enlace
The parents of our human race.

A serpent would the woman deceive:
And lead the woman to misperceive;
She ate, and gave Adam the forbidden fruit,
And their life of spirit wither'd at root.

Lo what had taken place,
They were forsaken of grace!
The grace to sanctify,
Away from them did fly!

And now, they'd die.

And that serpent tongue,
It spoke to her in lie;
There nigh the fruit there hung,
He tempted through her eye...

That day in Paradise,
She should've looked away...
When sin he did disguise
And led her and Adam astray!

In Adam God had breathed his life in breath,
But now did his nostril scent, the smoke of death.

Like a fruit of a tree, O fallen to earth and spoiled,
With Adam our nature fell, and fallen, was besoiled;
The serpent was delighted, as on the tree it coiled.

Lo Adam could've been fore'er a saint,
But his sin did him and his progeny taint!

O attend, Adam decided for the species,
When he disobeyed God's catecheses.
Alas, his fallen nature we inherit,
And his legacy lost, we must bear it.

'Twas impossible for finite man,
To repair for this offense:
To bridge an infinite span,
So great, and so immense!

The Need of a Redeemer

Still man, would need atone.
Yet in verity, only God alone,
Could suffice to satisfy...
So down He came from High,
And joined our race in Perfect worth,
To mend our plight upon the earth.

The angel Gabriel was assigned
To the special mission to our kind;
His plumed wings flew down to a Virgin Blest,
To a Galilean town, at God's behest.

To a town by the name of Nazareth,
And words of import came forth from his breath,
He announced the Messiah to the Virgin Mary:
That the Son of God she' d conceive and carry.

'Twas like a trumpet's clarion call,
That echoes through the ages all!

When Mary understood what she'd heard,
She said, Be it done according to thy word.
And in her, a mortal she,
Into this world, He came to be.

Our Embryonic Lord
And God's own Fetal Son,
Once tied by maternal cord
To her, the Immaculate One.

He was given the name of Jesus,
―A name that fore'er should please us!

As Eve was instrumental in the Fall,
So Mary was instrumental to save us all.

The Holy Infant's Born


In Bethlehem He was humbly born,
By sheep whose wooly coats are shorn;
He was wrapped, this swaddled Lamb of God,
His tiny toes and feet unshod.

He was laid in a manger where animals fed
Prefiguring the Eucharist yet to come!
There laid upon a humble bed,
Yet a King, the eternal from!

A sign of nourishment, ours to take,
The Holy One, Who the world did make.

Like the rays of sun that pass,
Through the purest of window glass...
He traversed His mother in such a way,
That a virgin birth we in honor say.

Like through a Nativity window,
In a hushed and holy place,
Appear'd the Savior Whom we know,
His Light ashine and holy Grace.

Perhaps on barley straw, He'd lain
With slender stems of winnowed wheat;
And a few kernels of clinging grain
―This fodder, His royal throne and seat.

The wise men came on camel beast;
These travellers of ancient road,
They came from somewhere East,
And found the King, and gifts bestowed:
Lo, on Him they did confer
Gold and frankincense and myrrh.

They thought the Child surely great,
For such a trip to contemplate.
They'd followed a shining star,
And journeyed from land afar

As an infant He felt the cold to shoulder
In a cave with tiny clouds of animal breath.
As God He knew, when He was older,
He'd undergo a Passion to death.
His suffering fore'er in view:
Of what He would go through.

At Home with His Family

Upon Him the universe doth depend,
Yet upon His mother He trusts His needs;
For Himself He could verily fend,
Yet on His mother's milk He feeds.

Then from Joseph's labor, they trade
For grain to bake a wheaten bread,
With honey to sweeten the morsels made
To put to mouth, where Truth be said.

Presenting Him in the Temple

They took him to Jerusalem, where
They presented Him in the Temple there:
An elderly man named Simeon
Devout and just, the Spirit upon

Came into the temple, inspired in mind,
And did the Lord, the Christus find.

He took Jesus in his arms, and God he blessed.
My eyes have salvation seen, he confessed;
The parents marveled at what they heard,
His prophecies spoken in priestly word:
A light to the Gentiles, his lips did tell
And glory for the people Israel.

Yet Simeon also foretold the friction
That would arise from contradiction.
He Mary told, the Mother of the Lord,
That pierced would be her heart by sword.

The Mosaic Law to accord,
They'd offered two pigeons or a pair of dove.
Poor they were to no more afford,
Yet rich with the One from up above.

Jesus Grows

Under the eyes of hearts so true,
Of Joseph and Mary, their Jesus grew:
His parents joyed when He first spoke
And at His smile when He awoke.

They witness when He tries
To catch a bird He sees;
And see the bird as up it flies,
As He crawls upon His knees.

As time goes on, a step He'll take,
And more and more the effort make.

A stone in His path to stumble on,
They'd show Him how to step around,
And clods of dirt that crumble on,
And turn to dust on earthen ground.

As a Boy and Young Man

As Jesus older and longer grew
He'd watch as Joseph fashion'd a plow,
To furrow the soil unbroken through:
He watched as Joseph worked and how.

When He began to take up tool,
He was truly in a carpenter school.

He sawed in Joseph's shop,
With dust a-falling from the wood;
With an axe He'd hew and chop,
Its chips flew nigh to where He stood:
And from a chisel He did wield,
Fell shavings from the wood He peeled.

All of His life, 'twas wood He faced:
And alas on that! He would be placed.

To Jerusalem at Age Twelve

In Joseph's shop the handles He did helve,
But another task He ponder'd of...
When in Jerusalem, at age of Twelve,
The business of His Father from above.

So He stayed behind,
With the Father's Will in mind.

His parents missed Him, homeward bound,
And returned in sorrow to find their boy;
After three days, He was in temple found;
Their tears, then turned to joy...

He was conversing with the teachers wise,
Who marveled at Him, before their eyes.

Even though His parents felt sad,
In staying back He did naught bad:
But rather the tasks of heavenly Father!
Yet, loath to cause His parents bother:
He went with Joseph and Mary home,
And dwelt with them in Hebrew Shalom.

Baptized as a Man

John the Baptist stood in the Jordan flow,
And a penitent's baptism to bestow.

Lo, Jesus came from Galilee
And at the river, John with Jesus pled:
The baptism ought be done by thee
But Jesus hindered him instead...
For the sake of justice, let it be.

Then obeying Jesus, John
Poured water Him upon.

And after the water was poured,
The Spirit descended upon Our Lord:
In coming down from up above,
He alighted in the form of dove.

And Heaven's portal did ope
O'er Jordan's flowing stream;
It was a sign of hope,
For us who Heaven dream.

The Father spoke that day,
And was heard from Heaven say:
Thou art My Beloved Son
In Whom I am well pleased:
Thus, was manifest the Triune One!
Not something mythic,
like the Hesperides...

Of Grecian tale, the daughters of the eve,
Said oft to live beyond the set of sun
And golden apples guard from those who'd thieve...
But not in myth, is the Trinity One!

At the Jordan baptizing there,
We may in history compare
To yet another Scriptural event:
When the Jordan was parted and pent,
And downstream its water went:
When Joshua crossed to the Promised Land.
With John, Jesus parted the Jordan flow,
And showed our way to the Promised Strand.
As the water broke around Him so

His Work with Disciples

John told his disciples "Behold the Lamb of God
Who takes away the sins of the world!"
They followed the Savior, sandal-shod,
His work with others, being now unfurled.

And passing by the inland sea,
The shore awash of Galilee,
He saw Peter and Andrew casting net,
And spoke to these with seine He met
"Come, follow me, I'll make you fishers of men,"
And farther on He invited brethren once again:

He saw John and James, the Sons of Zebedee,
Who were at their nets, and cords a-mending
Two more of the Apostles, to come to be...
And they followed Jesus, nets no longer tending.

The Wedding of Cana

Jesus and His disciples came
To a wedding Feast of Cana fame,
Mary said to Him, "They have no wine."
And Jesus replied that the hour's not mine;
Yet something transpired between the two;
She told the attendants:
whatever He tells you, do.

Perhaps in response to what her eyes did impart,
He honored the wish of a mother's heart.
He allowed His mother to intercede:
To perform a wonder, He then agreed.

Jesus said, the jars with water fill,
And they filled the vessels to the brim;
But wonder of wonder: Wine came forth to spill!
--At Mary's request, a miracle worked by Him!

From whence, the chief steward knew nought
But the attendants knew, 'twas by Jesus wrought.

When the steward tasted the wine,
He said everyone serves the better first,
But told the groom, it's not so with thine;
You've saved the best till now
...the wine to sate their thirst.

In terms of taste, the order reversed,
The flavor from ripen'd grape that burst.

Then Jesus changed the water to wine!
And wine today, is changed to the Sacrificed:
Before we on Holy Communion dine,
It's Consecrated as the Blood of Christ!

The wine the steward's tongue made wetter,
It pleasured him with its vinted flavor;
At Mass, the wine becomes Infinitely better!
It becomes the Blood of the Eternal Savior.

He was human born for our sake,
For saving the world, He enter'd in:
The Redemptive path He would take,
To live, to suffer and die for sin.

In a world, where illness fell and evil lurked,
Christ went about doing good
and miracles worked.

And it came to pass that this occurred:
When He heard of sorrow, spoke in word.

The Death of John the Baptist

he Baptist who preached repentance of sin,
The son of His mother's cousin kin,
Was slain by Herod, in an awful fate,
His severed head upon a plate;
Yes, John the one who went before,
Was a victim of blade with gore.

The voice of one crying in the desert,
Was stilled, 'twould cry no more.
And to a desert place apart,
He withdrew to a farther shore.

In a boat upon the sea,
He crossed o'er Galilee.

Twelve Loaves and Two Fishes

Because of the sick He cured,
To His landing place, were many lured;
They came by foot the sea around,
To seek Jesus: and Him they found.

Their number did amass
And Jesus bid they recline,
There upon the grass.

'Twas even
ing time and the day grew late,
The people there gathered, in number
were great;
Besides the women and childen, in their ken,
They counted about five thousand men.

They only had five loaves and two fishes,
Not enough to fill the hungry wishes.
Christ looked to heaven, blessed and broke the bread:
And these He multiplied, and the people fed.

It seems no more to partake they rathered,
As twelve baskets, up were gathered,
It'd appear the multitude were sate,
As
fragments were left, from what they ate.

The Transfiguration

He took the disciples up the mountain to pray
Where the Testament New would see the Old;
Elijah and Moses met with Jesus that day,
And the Apostles did the hereafter behold.

"His face shone as the sun," so bright,
His garments like snow, so white.

And for those that Peter did see,
He wished to make a tent for the three
But his request was not allowed,
And they were enveloped in a cloud.

The transfigured Jesus stood the worlds astride,
While the others stayed, each to their side.

In an unsettled kind of way,
We're like nomads upon the land;
We're not here forever to stay,
But are bound to heaven's strand.
Not here to always abide
But created for the other side.

Agony in the Garden

He underwent the Agony in the Garden
For our mercy and for our pardon;
In suff'ring, His brow was ruddy wet,
His Blood, it mingled with His sweat.

And olives grew on Gethsemane soil,
A name that means a press for oil
A word in the Aramaic tongue,
Suggesting how His Blood was wrung:
From His Body so greatly under stress,
Its tiny vessels squeezed, as in a press.

In agony Jesus shed His precious Blood,
That fallen to earth, formed a redden mud.
Our bodies are made of dust of the ground,
O joy, if His saving Blood, in us be found.

He sweat to repair for Adam's deed,
And for us, O we of Adam's seed;
Not only for his sin but that of kin:
For all of us since Eden's been.

And kneeling, He fell to the ground
And prayed, the Father's will be done
O let us so incline, and so be found,
That the Father's will and ours be one.

To Him all knees should bend,
All heads should humbly bow...
He suffered in this world to mend,
For those gone and the living now.

From Gethsemane they led Him away,
Like beast to slaughter in the dark, not day;
He met His captors, and for our sake,
He allowed them, O Him to take.

With their torches in night aflame,
They came, the Nazarene to claim;
Who Judas Iscariot would betray,
With a kiss in a faithless way


The Scourging at the Pillar

They swung their whips and the Lord did thresh;
With their terrible scourges they ripp'd! His Flesh.

If thongs were tipped with metal or bone, 1.
The whip would rip the dermal, unsewn;
And drawn like a rake across the skin,
It'd furrow the flesh--a harrow of sin.

Yet God uses His flesh so torn, such terrible tillage!
To grow grace for us, each land and village.

Lo, those who pursue the sins of the flesh,
In the scourging of Jesus, themselves enmesh;
And those who support such sensual sin,
Will find that the scourge, their hand is in.

Today's abortion is human barbarity!
It lacks in love and lumens of clarity.
It's woven in the whip of a permissive hand
Of those who support it across the land!

Abortion's slaughter and like-gendered sin,
Disobey what the Holy Writ is in.

Crowning with Thorns


They crowned Him with thorns of pain:
A headache e'en worse than one's migraine.
The thorns may've pierced the skull of the Lord,
If so, His cranium with them was gored!

O sharpish crown, without any jewel!
Yet! a drop of Blood from out His head,
From thorns that stick and hurt so cruel,
Came a precious gem in a hue of Red...

O Ruby of infinite worth!
A Jewel that's valued more,
Than all the treasures of earth,
Than all the amber washed ashore.

The sticking thorns, we may liken to nail,
They pierce His head, as they impale!


The Carrying of the Cross

He carried the weight of the Cross that day,
Up Calvary hill, where Him they'd slay;
Upon His shoulder its wood He heft ,
And on it His, His stain was left.

The bite in the fruit in the midst of the Garden,
It left the bitter, terrible taste of the Fall;
But the bite in the Fruit of the Womb brought pardon:
The bite of the Cross, brought sweetness for all.
--For us to savor for all eternity,
His favor through Mary's maternity.

Jesus weaken'd, and under His burden fell;
A passer-by, one Simon of Cyrene,
They compelled, to carry the Cross as well,
As he followed the steps of the Nazarene.

The Sacred drops of Blood He shed..
Fell, where His burden'd Body bled;
It's accounted a Seraphia, without fail,
Did wipe His face with her veil...

She's known as Veronica in Christian lore,
From the phrase vera icon--an "image true":
The Suffering Face of Him to adore,
Before the Cross, He was fixed thereto.

The Crucifixion

They drove the piercing nails into each limb: 
Into His hands, amid the carpels of the wrist,
2
And lower, spikes into the feet of Him!
Thus He suffer'd, that we'd fore'er be blissed.
Such cruelty inflicted His body felt!
Alas, our sin with Him so dealt.

They fastened Him to a Cross of wood
Which on the hill of Calvary stood;
In His body flesh o'er skeletal bone,
He suffered much, for sin atone...
Each nail, its metal, in Christ it sticks
And holds Him fast, there crucifixed!

The Wheaten Grain, beaten, now made grist
Lo baked into the Bread of His Presence!
Yea, Jesus the Christ Who hung by wrist,
To obtain for us, the Heavenly Essence.

Against the Cross of wood, rough hewn,
His Blood was smeared and ruddily strewn.
His wounded torso rubbed It on the wood,
His weight on nailed feet where He stood.

He gasped for air to draw His breath,
As the sands of time counted down to death.

He uttered these words, His last:
"Father into Thy hands I commend my Spirit,"
Like a mariner asea, calling avast!
He said it aloud, and they could hear it.

Thus Jesus died and paid a great price,
His Infinite Being did there suffice!

A darkness shouded the land,
And beneath the Cross there mourning,
Were the women and John at hand,
As Redemption was aborning.

They took Him down from where He hung
And lovingly wrapped Him in linen cloth:
Bereft of spirit, the dead among,
Around Him they wrapped the linen swath

With the linen fabric, flaxen made,
He was wrapped with aloes and myrrh;
And the women saw where He was laid,
Where His body they did inter.

His Resurrection

He'd come forth in life, from His mother's womb,
And now came forth, from another's tomb,
A sepulchre cut of rock, for Joseph of Arimathia,
A secret disciple, from the province called Judea.

The women went, with His body assemble,
To anoint with spices at the dawn of day;
The earth disturbed, did quake and tremble,
And an angel rolled the stone away!

Two men in dazzling raiment, spoke to them, and said
"Why do you seek the Living One among the dead?
He isn't here..." He's risen and goes before thee,
To Galilee, and Him there, you'll see.

The guards came to tell the chief priests
Of what happened in their sight;
The priests gave them money, to say The Deceased,
Was stolen by disciples during the night.

This falseness, then was spread,
From what the priests had said!

But Jesus appeared to some He knew,
Thus prooving His Resurrection true.

Road to Emmaus

On the road to Emmaus He walked,
And came up to disciples, as on they talked
And spoke of events that had occurred;
And for them, He interpreted what they'd heard--
The Scripture from Moses and prophets all
And what to Jesus would befall.

They recognized Him not, the truth of His Being,
Their eyes were held, from His visage seeing.

As it was growing late in the day,
They bid Him tarry, and with them stay;
At the meal, He blessed and broke the Bread,
They knew Him then, The Risen from the dead!

And now so many years away,
Lo, many eyes are not held today,
If only they'd grasp what the Scriptures said,
They'd recognize Him in the Breaking of Bread.

Appearing to Others

For fear of the Jews, the disciples were shut in a room;
The doors were locked, and entry none could assume.
Yet through the barrier, unhindered, Jesus passed inside,
Like light through glass, He appeared where they did bide.

He appear'd to eleven at table,
And upbraided them for lack of belief,
That He'd arisen was no fable,
Nor was He taken away as by thief.

Sending Disciples Forth

And then He sent His disciples forth,
To preach to every human creature,
To the east and west, south and north...
He commissioned them a preacher.

They went into the world,
To teach all people, woman and man,
The youthful lad and beauty, girled:
The truth of God's Way: His h oly plan.

There was no Bible yet to thumb:
As Holy Writ was yet to come,
In a future afar, a time unnear.
For then, 'twas words unWrit to hear.

* * * * *
He pain endured for us, to us Redeem,
We owe Him much of our Esteem.

To live in heavenly bliss with Him,
With the angels, blessed and Seraphim,
To attain our eternal destiny,
Lo Jesus wrought the best for me.

No greater Hero has e'er there been,
Across the world so vast and wide,
He suffer'd for the sake of men,
That in lasting joy we may abide.

--John Riedell

1. The Roman flagrum was a short whip with several leather thongs with pieces of metal or bone which beat into the flesh.  

2. The hand is made up of wrist (carpus), the palm proper (metcarpus), and the digits, (four fingers and thumb). The heel of the hand, closest to the bones of the forearm, consists of the eight carpal bones. Here the ligaments are stronger than in the middle of the palm, where it's believed the nail would tear through. Within the carpal bones is a space, where "most medical experts claim that the nails were placed."

 

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Site Last Updated on 10/02/18