Maranatha, Tetelestai: An Encounter

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work among you will complete it” — Phil. 1:6(a).

the bible, our definitive epic.
infinite source, muse for all humanity. studied, celebrated, repudiated, loved, hated. the hero’s journey from manger to messiah. story that made history,
told throughout the centuries.

all mighty made flesh:
victorious tragedy.
a carpenter carrying a wooden cross, a destitute riding a donkey,
a servant washing people’s feet,
all of them the sovereign savior.
so simple it transcends credibility. no one recognized you then.

and now i sit at the table
deaf to the knocking on my door.
i have spent my life in
the state of perpetual silence,
that which governed those three days the father abandoned you in calvary. eli, eli, lama sabachthani?
oh, abba, where are you?

i knelt before
your outstretched arms on the cross
and the air you let out with your last breath has overwhelmed my lungs:
desperation, longing, desire.
but before issuing this life sentence,
you whispered
it is finished.

if such was your decree
why do i still yearn for fulfillment? is it that just like before,
you are here and i can’t see you? tell me if i’m wishing for closure

that has always belonged to me.
have you completed your telos,
and are waiting for me to finish mine? forgive me, father,
for i do not know what i’m doing.

it is hard to explain with words.
i embody the emptiness of the tomb
now that you are not in it.
“tetelestai,” you say
“i am yours for i have called you to be mine.” help me consummate it, then.
for i fail to recognize
even my own name.
forgive me, father
for i do not know who i am.

you breathed out your spirit
to give me the holiest of ghosts,
and in the bath of pure water
that pours out of your side wound
i confront my humanity: i am not my own.

tetelestai is my rebirth in the divine,
that my existence is
because you were, are, and will always be. tetelestai is the death of my mortal flesh, that always bleeds, cries, ages, fails. tetelestai is longing with insanity

to behold the hands that shaped me —dust, prodigal, broken, vessel—
to perfection not yet here but assured.

and i cry, and my tears fall through the holes of your hands. seemingly wasted, but ending at your feet. in the death of my ego, i find identity. in the pouring of my heart, i find belonging. in my surrendering, you give me the air to breathe out: tetelestai.



“Maranatha” is Aramaic for “O Lord come.”


Alejandra Pirela ’25 is a prospective Political Economy major, with special interests in Latinx Studies and English. When not participating in prayer or discipleship, you can always find her bundled up in a corner of the chapel talking, studying, or napping. Born and raised in Venezuela, she is an avid fan of warmth in all its iterations: weather, people, food, and God. She hopes to spread that same peace and comfort throughout campus.