Friday, May 10, 2013

Jesus' Blessing

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
May 12, 2013

Luke 24:46-53

It's Jesus' last moment with his own. Then he will leave them to enter definitively into the mystery of the Father. He will no longer be able to accompany them along the roads of the world as he has done in Galilee. His presence will not be able to be replaced by anyone. Jesus is only thinking about whether the proclamation of God's forgiveness and mercy will reach all the peoples. About whether everyone will hear his call to conversion. No one must feel lost. No one must live without hope.

All must know that God understands and loves His sons and daughters limitlessly. Who will be able to proclaim that Good News?

According to Luke's narrative, Jesus isn't thinking about priests or bishops. Nor about doctors and theologians. He wants to leave "witnesses" on earth. That's the first thing: "You are witnesses of these things." It will be Jesus' witnesses who will communicate their experience of a good God and spread his lifestyle by working for a more humane world.

But Jesus knows his disciples well. They're weak and cowardly. Where will they find the audacity to be witnesses for someone who has been crucified by the representative of the Empire and the leaders of the Temple? Jesus calms them: "I am sending the promise of my Father upon you." The "power from on high" won't fail them. The Spirit of God will defend them.

To graphically express Jesus' wish, Luke the evangelist describes his departure from this world in a surprising way: Jesus returns to the Father lifting his hands and blessing his disciples. It's his last gesture. Jesus enters into the unfathomable mystery of God and his blessing descends on the world.

We Christians have forgotten that we are bearers of Jesus' blessing. Our first task is to be witnesses to the Goodness of God. To keep hope alive. Not to surrender before evil. This world that seems like a "cursed hell" isn't lost. God sees it with tenderness and compassion.

Today too, it's possible to seek good, do good, spread what is good. It's possible to work for a more humane world and a healthier lifestyle. We can be more supportive and less selfish. More austere and less slaves to money. The economic crisis itself can push us to seek a less corrupt society.

In Jesus' Church, we've forgotten that the first thing is to promote a "ministry of kindness." We should see ourselves as witnesses and prophets of this Jesus who spent his life sowing gestures and words of kindness. Thus he awakened in the peoples of Galilee hope in a Saving God. Jesus is a blessing and people need to know it.

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