Monthly Archives: June 2015

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

The risk of being homeless

 

Introduction

 

The skilled politician always manages relations with the religious structure with foresight. He does not fight but flatters it. He tries to make it an ally because he knows that the religious subject is more reliable and also the more devoted, if he can manage to convince him that supporting the established order is tantamount to promoting the kingdom of God. One in power is opposed to that which disrupts the balance of the society or institution. He arrives to his goal when he conveys the idea that there is an equation between what is normally thought and the gospel message, between the principles set forth by the current morals and the values preached by Christ, between the Beatitudes of the world and those of the mountain.

 

It is a subtle strategy in which, often in good faith, many Christians are involved, but that leads to distort the gospel. The church hierarchy and also the people adapt themselves at times, but never the prophet, who is not, constitutionally, a restless and dissatisfied person, but one who has received and assimilated the thoughts of the Lord. For this he refuses to put God’s seal on man’s plans and denounces the structures marked by sin. His words annoy, provoke irritation and the fate that awaits him cannot be but misunderstanding and rejection.

 

It happened to Jeremiah, threatened by his countrymen: “Do not prophesy any more in the name of the Lord and we will spare your life;” (Jer 11:21) and warned by God: “Take care, even your kinsfolk and your own family are false with you” (Jer 12:6).

 

It happened to Muhammad in Mecca. He wanted to shake his fellowmen from religious indifference, attachment to earthly life and social injustice.

 

It also happened to Jesus in Nazareth.

 

To internalize the message, we repeat:
“Only if I leave the house built by men I can meet the Lord.”

 

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13th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

Rescued from death by the God of Life

 

Introduction

 

Despite the suffering it entails, humans desperately love life. Ulysses in Hades tries to comfort Achilles who replies: “Do not embellish me at death, O Odysseus! I would prefer, as a laborer, to serve on earth another man rather than rule over the dead.” The Egyptians viewed death differently. For them death was “everlasting life” in a wonderful kingdom, located to the west, lit by the sun god, from dawn until dusk, when it gets dark for us.

 

Among all ancient peoples the conviction of the existence of an afterlife prevailed and among the Greeks, immortality of the soul. Inexplicably, this did not happen with the Jews since they were born as a people in Egypt. They let more than a thousand years passed before they began to believe in a life beyond death.

 

They proclaimed, yes, the Lord “the God of life” (Nm 27:16), but always in earthly perspective. “In you is the source of life,” sang the psalmist, but for life he meant “health and blessing” (Sir 34:17), a fertile land, abundant crops, numerous descendants, and finally, to die “at a good old age” (Gn 35:29), as the ripe sheaves that are withdrawn from the field (Job 5:26). In the Hebrew Bible the word “immortality” does not even appear.

 

The slowness of Israel in reaching an explicit affirmation of eternal life is precious and enlightening. It makes us understand that, before believing in the resurrection and a future world, it is necessary to value and passionately love life in this world as God appreciates and loves it.

 

To internalize the message, we repeat:
“From the Lord I have learned to love life, every expression of life.”

 

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