For This You Are Exalted

Fr. Jan Michael Joncas (who some remember as the composer of On Eagle’s Wings) is Artist-in-Residence and Research Fellow in Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas.  As part of St. Thomas’s Lenten Reflection Series, Fr. Joncas  shared today a hymn text he wrote as a meditation on Jesus’ death.  It is a great text for reflection on this this Good Friday.  

The crowds who cried, “Hosanna,”
now clamor, “Crucify!”
Where once you rode in triumph
you stumble out to die.
O suffering Messiah,
O Lord of love and loss,
reveal to us the myst’ry
of your redeeming cross.

This instrument of torture,
this altar on a hill,
this artifact of evil
confounded by God’s will
provides the godforsaken
the sign of God’s embrace:
your outstretched arms, Christ Jesus,
a miracle of grace.

God’s equal, yet you never
clung to a form divine
but in our human likeness
lived out God’s great design.
Thus emptied, stripped, and humbled,
obedient unto death,
a slave upon a scaffold,
you drew your final breath.

For this you are exalted
and marked with great acclaim,
receiving highest honors:
the name above all names.
So at your name, Christ Jesus,
now ev’ry knee will bend,
with ev’ry tongue proclaiming
your Lordship without end.

Blessings as we continue our celebration of the Easter Triduum.