Friday, November 26, 2010

letter to a friend: the dream of God

My dear Kode,

Jesus had an older cousin named John, who was a prophet of God, and an austere and religious observant man.

John challenged the people of Israel to prepare for the coming of the promised Messiah by turning away from sins and getting baptized as symbol of their conversion.

He asked tax collectors not to take advantage of people, soldiers not to give false witness, and wealthy people to give part of their clothes and food to the poor.

Many followed John as he preached a kingdom of justice. Even Jesus, who was perfect in love, went to the line to be baptized, thus supporting John in his passionate way of preparing the hearts of the people for the great good news he was about to deliver.

After the popular John was arrested, Jesus started his public life. He start saying:
" Be attentive! The time has come and the Reign of the loving God is already between us!
Change the way you think, and trust this great good news! "

The dream that God has for us and His creation, His Kingdom, is already coming into being!

Open your eyes! And be happy for such a good news! This is awesome! This is great!

The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed that a farmer plants in the field. Although it is the smallest of all seeds, it grows larger than any garden plant, and becomes a tree where birds come and nest on its branches.

The Kingdom of God is like the little yeast that a woman puts into three big batches of flour, finally all the dough rise.

The Kingdom of God is like a party where all are welcome to join and cheer. Behold and start preparing your heart for this party, and you will be blessed with a tasting of it now here!

The Kingdom of God is more than a kingdom of justice. It is the outpouring of the unconditional love of God, that like a wave from the sea, will soak us and eventually fill us, showing the needlessness of our violence, selfishness and self-centered ways. It is the wonderfulness of being love so much that empowers creativity, kindness, forgiveness, and the utter freedom of the people of his Kingdom.

Open your eyes! And be happy for such a good news! This is awesome! This is great!
The dream that God has for us and His creation, His Kingdom, is already coming into being!

Blessed are those who pray for their enemies, who are able to show generosity even to the ones that rob them, for them are bringing the kingdom of heaven on earth.
Blessed are those who are poor in spirit, who put their trust on God and not on material things,
for the kingdom of heaven is theirs!
What great news, Kode, when you do so!

Blessed are those who weep, for they will discover the comforting God.
Blessed are the humble, for the humble will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be filled.
Blessed are you, Kode, when you are one of them!

Blessed are the merciful and kind, for they will receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are you, Kode, when you are one of them!

And, if the time comes when you are persecuted because you seek justice, or you are insulted and mistreated and your life is in danger because you follow Jesus, the Messiah, the son of God. Be happy, you have discovered a treasure that no-one will ever be able to take from you!

Many people followed Jesus when he started explaining the good news of the Kingdom. You can look at the gospel of Matthew chapter 5 to read more about what he was saying during the sermon of the mount. This is, however, the beginning of the story, and if you wish, I will talk more about him in my next letter.



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

letter to a friend: it was good that he came

My dear Kode,

Being a christian is being a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, a man that lived doing good,
who was executed as a criminal by the religious and political authorities, hung on a cross
at the outskirts of Jerusalem two thousand years ago, but whom God have vindicated,
by rising him from the dead to His live. 

This living Jesus is Love from Love, the Savior of the World, through him every person
and everything is being created anew until we all will be reunited with God.  

Oh my friend Kode, let me tell more about the story of Jesus and his friends, and about myself.

Jesus was a jew, born in a humble family from a teenager woman named Mary, whom Joseph
lovingly engaged even knowing that she was already pregnant. 

He was born in a barn, for they had found no other place to stay in Bethlehem, the town of the 
great King David, where they came to register for the imperial census, as Joseph was from the 
lineage of David, descendent of Abraham, descendent of Adam, who was from God. 

This Jesus, very much unnoticed by the world, was the promised Messiah that would restore an even greater Kingdom than that of David. This Jesus was and is the dwelling of the loving God in our midst, the Son of God.  

At that point in time, however, when Jesus was an infant, the blessing that we have of God coming to us in Jesus was just beginning to be understood only by few people. Between them specially Mary, who was meditating in her heart everything concerning Jesus.

Oh my friend Kode, let me tell more about the story of Jesus and his friends, and about myself.

From the Bible, a fragment that is called the Magnificat: 

      "And Mary said:  
       My soul magnifies the Lord
         and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
         for he has looked on the humble state of his servant.
       From now on all generations will call me blessed,
          for the Mighty One has done great things for me. 
       Holy is his name, 
          and his mercy for those who believe in him 
          extends from generation to generation.
       The deeds of his hand are mighty:
          he has scattered the proud in their hearts,
          he has brought down the rulers from their thrones
          and lifted up the humble;
          he has filled up the hungry with good things,
          and has sent the rich away empty.
       He has helped his servant Israel
          as he had promised to our fathers;
          remembering his mercy to Abraham
          and his offspring forever."     

Oh my friend Kode, when Jesus was 30 years old he started his public life. He brought good news to his people, and about this news, if you wish, I will be writing to you in my next letter.

May the loving God bless us with the humbleness we need for gasping his glory behind the first sight of things. Yours,


Thursday, November 11, 2010

letter to a friend: a treasure I have and want to share

My dear Kode,

I have discovered a treasure and I want to share it.

If you feel this to be a good idea, I would like to write a few letters to you about on being christian.This would be a way to share who I am and the treasure that I have in Jesus. Hope you say yes, but please say no if you expect to feel uncomfortable or don't feel this to be in an appropriate time.

my best wishes,

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

following Christ: short version

In a previous post I commented about my reflections on Lumen Gentium 31, and explicitly wrote a commitment that focused on the fact that baptized people share the priestly, prophetical and kingly functions of Christ. Here I present a shorter version, which I like very much for its concreteness and for the fact that expresses nicely how I believe I can share the office of King. Hoping that this version may be useful to someone, I am writing it here: 

my short version:

I, Marc,

as priest in Christ I will offer God prayers for the world

as prophet in Christ I will speak God's news to his people.

as king in Christ I will spend my talents, time and treasure
     by loving my fellow humans as He had loved us.