The task and trials.
Each one of us encounters.
That is our mission.
Each one of us has to face.
Life’s journey with temptations.

Each one asked to be.
Servant of Divine Calling.
To live like Christ.
A life, when ended, to say:
“It is truly finished, Lord.”

About this poem

The meaning, the purpose of life, lies in the mission of life. In the United Bibles Society (UBS) Greek New Testament Gospel of John 19:30, we encounter the koine Greek word “Tetelestai,” translated in English as “It is finished,” and suggesting that a task or course of action that was earmarked, has been accomplished (present perfect tense). In the Biblical Greek language, the word “tetelestai” is in the aorist or perfect tense, which combines the present tense with the perfect tense, suggesting that an idea or task (in the immediate context of John 19:30 and, more expansively in the larger biblical context of Old Testament prophesy, the task of man’s redemption and salvation) has been accomplished, and is still in effect today, and remains in effect in the future. That is to say, the Biblical Greek Aorist (Perfect) tense expresses punctiliar action, in which the action accrues without specific overt indication of continued action, such that, to the non-specialist, the time element or grammatical aspect appears to be in non-existence. A better and more fulsome English translation of John 19:30 might therefore read as follows: “it [man’s redemption and salvation] was finished in the past, is still finished in the present, and it will remain finished in the future.” In the context of John 19:30, “Tetelestai “ is the Master’s “battle cry” of victory, symbolically and declaratively amplifying that which has been made Indivisible and Whole. Tetelestai for mankind is the spiritual goal that is set out for each human soul, whether consciously or unconsciously recognized. The eminent Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung referred to the phenomenon of Tetelestai as “Individuation” of that (the human psyche) which has been made indivisible or undivided, recognizing at the same time, that while Christ on the cross, could utter and declare his accomplishment of completion and fulfillment, we as mere mortals can, in our own material circumstances, only attempt to do our best, and hopefully say, like Saint Paul, in 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.” This two-stanza Tanka poem, “Tetelestai,” is written as an acrostic impetus for humanity collectively to at least strive to fulfill Saint Paul’s objective. 

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Written on April 13, 2022

Submitted by karlcfolkes on April 13, 2022

Modified on April 17, 2023

17 sec read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 264
Words 59
Stanzas 2
Stanza Lengths 5, 5

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1991 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s ‘Liebe Mili’ (translated into English as “Dear Mili”), Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes of Analytical Psychology. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

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