Thursday, May 1, 2014

I believe in Life

By Jose Arregi (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Humus: Cristianos en Gipuzkoa Blog
April 27, 2014

What is Easter faith but this -- to believe in Life?

When I say believe, I'm not saying profess beliefs. I'm saying live, I'm saying trust yourself and others in spite of everything, I'm saying rebel against all the powers that suffocate us, I'm saying stand on the side of the wounded, I'm saying be the humble yeast that transforms and raises history up, I'm saying breathe peacefully every night and keep on walking every day despite failure, the cross, and death. Believing in Easter is a way of living.

"Passover" (pesah, "passing") is what the Jews called the liberation from slavery under Pharaoh, the crossing of the desert to full freedom, hoping for the Land flowing with milk and honey for all. But thousands of years before the Jewish religious holiday, Easter was -- without that name -- the shepherds' and farmers' feast of springtime -- the feast of lambs and fields of wheat. A feast of life and bread.

I believe that Jesus of Nazareth -- although he wasn't the only one, nor was he perfect -- lived and proclaimed grace and freedom. He was a prophet of Life. And so the powers that be condemned him for standing in solidarity with all the condemned. They killed him, but his life didn't die, since in our lives the fullness of Life is flowing and our lives flow towards their fullness in a permanent passing or Easter.

I believe that Jesus rose because the good life, the goodness that lives in the heart of every living being is immortal, like beauty, in the Heart that beats in everything. Life revives, everything that is changes -- the butterfly into an egg, the egg into a caterpillar, the caterpillar into a chrysalis, the chrysalis into a butterfly, the butterfly into an egg, in flight, on earth, and the earth in bloom, the flower into a bee, the bee into wax, the wax into flame, the flame into light, light into shadows, shadows into light, air, breath, energy or spirit ... that hovers over the waters of life, that vibrates in the heart of all beings, forms of Being, Breath, Soul, Communion and the immortal Whole. But what happens when we "die", when the "material" structure holding our consciousness, emotions and memory disintegrates? I do not know what to say, but I believe it is not the end of our life, but its Easter or Passover towards the Fullness that we are, to the breadth of the Life, the Heart, and the Infinite Memory we also call "God."

I believe that Jesus didn't rise "after" his death but throughout his whole life, even in his death. Jesus' good life resurrected in the eternal fullness of "God" when he healed the sick, giving them back vital trust, when he shared the table with those who had been excluded by religion, when he proclaimed the poor peasants and fishermen of Galilee blessed -- blessed because they were no longer going to be destitute, when he told parables that called people to mercy and caused surprise, when he subverted hierarchy and consecrated fraternity. Jesus rose during his life and when, because of his life, they condemned him to die on the Cross, then he finished resurrecting.

I believe his disciples -- especially his women disciples -- went back to believing in him and following him for the same reason they had believed in him and followed him in life -- because they saw in him the prophet of liberated life. Their eyes were opened again and they confessed the prophet of life as a living martyr. I believe that to believe in the Living One you don't need empty tombs, or angels, or miraculous apparitions because everything is animated by the Angel of Life, everything is a miracle, all tombs are empty of absence, full of good presence, of the Grace of being that Jesus experienced. It's only necessary to open your heart and eyes to touch Life in all wounded hands and feet, in everything that is and beats -- the anonymous traveler, the expelled immigrant, the abused woman, the less fortunate elderly person or child, the long term unemployed. And in the humble stone of the road, or in the robin singing near the Narrondo after sunset who sings again before the dawn.

I believe that the Presence of Compassion comes to meet us at every step, calls us by name, and says to our hearts, "Friend, fear not. Trust and live."

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