Thursday, July 14, 2011

Like Leaven

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)

With a boldness unknown, Jesus surprised everyone by proclaiming what no prophet of Israel had dared to utter: "God is already here with His creative force of justice opening a way in the world to make the lives of His children more humane and happy." We need to change. We must learn to live believing in the Good News: the Kingdom of God is coming.

Jesus spoke with passion. Many were attracted by His words. For others, many doubts arose. Wasn't all that crazy? Where could the power of God transforming the world be seen? Who could change the mighty Roman empire?

One day Jesus told a very brief parable. It's so small and humble that it has often gone unnoticed by Christians. It reads: "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened." (Mt 13:33)

Those simple people knew what Jesus was talking about. All had seen their mothers make bread on the patios of their houses. They knew that the yeast is "hidden", but not inactive. In a quiet occult way, it leavens everything from within. So God is acting from within life.

God does not impose Himself from outside, but transforms people from within. He doesn't dominate with His power, but draws us to what is good with His love. He doesn't force anyone's freedom but offers Himself to make our lives happier. So we also have to act if we want to open the way to His kingdom.

A new era is beginning for the Church. Christians are going to have to learn to live as a minority in a secular and pluralistic society. In many places, the future of Christianity depends largely on the birth of small groups of believers, drawn by the gospel and gathered around Jesus.

Gradually, we will learn to live our faith in a humble way, without making much noise or a great spectacle. We will no longer nurture so much desire for power or prestige. We will not waste our energy on large scale image making. We will seek what is essential. We will walk in the truth of Jesus.

Following His wishes, we will try to live as a "leaven" of healthy living in the midst of society and as a little "salt" that is humbly diluted to give evangelical flavor to modern life. We will spread Jesus' lifestyle in our surroundings and radiate the inspiring and transformative power of His Gospel. We will spend life doing good. Like Jesus.

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