Matthew VI, 28 FF. – Richard Wilbur

November 15 was the beginning of our Orthodox Nativity fast, known also as Advent or St. Philip’s Fast. There doesn’t seem to be anything clearly on my mind to write about it, which isn’t surprising, seeing as fasting always reveals a pervasive disorderedness.

But last year I posted this poem that seemed appropriate, and here it is again, worth further consideration, I think.

A blessed Advent to all who come here!

Matthew VI, 28 FF.

Rabbi, we Gadarenes
Are not ascetics; we are fond of wealth and possessions.
Love, as you call it, we obviate by means
Of the planned release of aggressions.

We have deep faith in prosperity.
Soon, it is hoped, we will reach our full potential.
In the light of our gross product, the practice of charity
Is palpably inessential.

It is true that we go insane;
That for no good reason we are possessed by devils;
That we suffer, despite the amenities which obtain
At all but the lowest levels.

We shall not, however, resign
Our trust in the high-heaped table and the full trough.
If you cannot cure us without destroying our swine,
We had rather you shoved off.

–Richard Wilbur

4 thoughts on “Matthew VI, 28 FF. – Richard Wilbur

  1. wow; that is quite the poem… found myself thinking of it and then I remembered a realization of God's love when I was reading this passage recently and how the demoniac was healed and unusually Christ told him to go into the city and tell everyone of what Christ had done for him. Since they would not let Christ come, and yet Christ loves them, so He sent a messaenger of His healing and love to them…

    God – His love always exceeds our expectations…

    blessed Nativity season to you.


  2. Oh, I love Wilbur. (I probably said that last year too 🙂 His word choice is so rich. We've just finished studying this passage in Mark, in our home Bible study, and I discovered things about it I never knew before. Thanks again!


  3. I love this. It speaks loud and clear, especially at this time of year. We're trying to live the ethios of here this year. I am still mulling over the words of Cicero. I have so so much aspiration, so so little skill!


  4. “Our” (by which I mean? The Anglican/Protestant church, maybe?) Advent doesn't begin until November 28th, but I'm already thinking about it, how I would like it to be a time of reflection and preparation. Every year Advent gets lost in the frenzy of the season, and I'm so disappointed.

    I'm glad to read the Wilbur poem again.



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