Friday, April 11, 2014

Nothing could stop him

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
April 13, 2014

Matthew 26:14-27:66

The execution of John the Baptist was not something casual. According to a widespread belief among the Jewish people, the fate that awaits the prophet is misunderstanding, rejection and, in many cases, death. Jesus probably counted on the possibility of a violent end very early on. Jesus was not a suicide nor was he seeking martyrdom. He never wanted suffering for himself or for anyone. He dedicated his life to fighting it in disease, injustice, marginalization and hopelessness. He was committed to "seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness" -- that more decent and happier world for all that his Father sought.

If he accepted persecution and martyrdom, it was because of faithfulness to this plan of God who doesn't want to see His sons and daughters suffer. Therefore, he doesn't run towards death, but neither does he hold back. He doesn't flee before the threats, nor does he modify or soften his message.

It would have been easy for him to avoid execution. He would just have to shut up and not insist on what could be irritating in the temple or the palace of the Roman prefect. He didn't do it. He followed his path. He would rather be executed than betray his conscience and be unfaithful to the plan of God, his Father.

He learned to live in a climate of uncertainty, conflicts and accusations. Day by day he reaffirmed his mission and continued proclaiming his message clearly. He dared to spread it not only in the far removed villages of Galilee, but in the dangerous environment of the temple. Nothing stopped him.

He will die faithful to the God in whom he has always trusted. He will continue to welcome everyone, including sinners and undesirables. If they end up rejecting him, he will die as an "excluded person" but with his death he will confirm what his whole life has been -- total trust in a God who doesn't reject or exclude anyone from His forgiveness.

He will go on seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness, identifying with the poorest and most despised. If some day he is executed and tortured on the cross, reserved for slaves, he will die like the poorest and most despised one, but through his death he will seal forever his faith in a God who wants the salvation of human beings from all that enslaves them.

We followers of Jesus discover the ultimate Mystery of reality, incarnated in his love and extreme commitment to human beings. In the love of this crucified man is God himself, identified with all who suffer, crying out against every injustice and forgiving the executioners of all time. One can believe or not believe in this God, but it's not possible to make fun of Him. We Christians trust in Him. Nothing will stop His efforts to save His children.

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