Sunday, April 5, 2015

Hilaire Belloc: Sonnet Upon God, The Wine Giver (For Easter Sunday)

Here is a quirky poem from the great Catholic writer Hilaire Belloc, composed 99 Easters ago (in 1916):

Sonnet Upon God, The Wine Giver
(For Easter Sunday)

Thought Man made wine, I think God made it, too;
God making all things, made Man made good wine.
He taught him how the little tendrils twine.
About the stakes of labor close and true.
Then next, with intimate prophetic laughter,
He taught the Man, in His own image blest,
To pluck and wagon and to--all the rest!
To tread the grape and work his vintage after.
So did God make us, making good wine makers;
So did He order us to rule the field
And now by God are we not only bakers;
But winners also sacraments to yield;
Yet most of all strong lovers, Praised be God!
Who taught us how the wine-press should be trod!

Never forget that the first miracle of Jesus was to create more wine. According to the Gospels it was good wine. And it was at a wedding.

Six weeks of fasting and abstinence are over. This is a day of joy.

Today, we celebrate with Christ. If life is often a drudge or worse, it is we who have made it so, as a consequence of our own sin.

But not today.

It is traditional at my church for the priests and brothers to sometimes invite new converts to their Easter feast. Here are good men who work sixteen hour days for God and for their parishioners. Marines, always on duty. But now they celebrate.

He wants that. It's a legitimate but imperfect foreshadowing of what's to come.

"You have kept the good wine until now," said the headwaiter at the wedding, unaware of the miracle.

The good wine. Dare we ask for it?

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