Friday, September 26, 2014
Ahead of us
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
September 28, 2014
One day, Jesus uttered these harsh words against the religious leaders of his people: "I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you." A few years ago, I was able to see that Jesus' statement wasn't an exaggeration.
A group of prostitutes from different countries, accompanied by some Oblate Sisters, were reflecting on Jesus with the help of my book, Jesus: An Historical Approximation. I'm still moved by the strength and appeal that Jesus had for these women of simple soul and good hearts. I have saved some of their testimonies.
* "I felt dirty, empty, and like a nobody; everyone used me. Now I want to go on living because God knows a lot about my suffering...God is within me. God is inside me. God is in me. This Jesus understands me!..."
* "Now, when I come home after work, I wash with very hot water to get the dirt off my skin and then I pray to this Jesus because he does understand me and knows a lot about my suffering...Jesus, I want to change my life. Guide me because you alone know my future..."
* "I ask Jesus all day to separate me from this lifestyle. Whenever something happens to me, I call out to him and he helps me. He is near me, he's marvelous...He holds me in his hands, he carries me, I feel his presence..."
* "The early morning is when I talk to him most. He hears me better because at that time people are asleep. He is here; he doesn't sleep. He's always here. Behind closed doors, I kneel down and I pray to him to deserve his help, for him to forgive me, that I might fight for him..."
* "One day I was leaning up in the square and I said, 'O my God, could this be all I'm good for? Just prostitution?...Then was the moment I most felt that God was bearing me -- you understand? -- changing me. It was at that moment. So much that I haven't forgotten it. You see?..."
* "Now I talk to Jesus and I say to him: Here I am, accompany me. You saw what happened to my colleague (referring to a colleague who was killed in a hotel). I'm praying for her and ask that nothing bad happen to my colleagues. I'm not speaking [for myself] but I'm asking for them since they are people like me..."
* "I'm furious, sad, hurting, rejected, nobody loves me, I don't know who to blame -- whether it would be better to hate people and myself, or the world. Look, since I was a girl, I've believed in You and You let this happen to me...I'm giving You another opportunity to protect me now. Well, I forgive You, but please don't leave me again..."