AHEAD OF US
One day Jesus pronounced these harsh words against the religious leaders of his people: «In truth I tell you, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you». A few years ago I was able to verify that Jesus’ declaration isn’t an exaggeration.
A group of prostitutes from different countries, along with some Oblate Sisters, reflected on Jesus with the help of my book – Jesus, an Historical Approximation. I’m still moved by the power and the attraction that Jesus has for these women of simple souls and good hearts. The following are some of their testimonies.
«I felt dirty, empty, like something insignificant, everyone used me. Now I want to keep living because God knows all about my suffering… God is within me. God is within me. God is within me. This Jesus understands me!…».
«Now, when I get home after work, I wash myself with real hot water to scrub my skin clean of all that soils me, and then I pray to this Jesus because he does understand me and he knows all about my suffering… Jesus, I want to change my life, guide me because you alone know my future…».
«I ask Jesus all day to get me away from this way of living. Every time something happens to me, I call on him and he helps me. He’s near me, it’s wonderful… He carries me in his hands, he bears me up, I feel his presence…».
«In the morning is when I talk most with him. He hears me better because at that time people are sleeping. He’s right here, he doesn’t sleep. He’s always here. With my door closed, I kneel down and ask him to make me worthy of his help, to forgive me, to help me work for him…».
«One day I was resting in the plaza and I said: Oh my God, is this all I’m good for? Just to be a prostitute?… That is the moment when I most felt God carrying me, you understand? Changing me. It was right then. I’ll never forget it. You understand?…».
«Now I speak with Jesus and I tell him: here I am, be with me. You saw what happened to my friend (she’s referring to a friend who was killed in a hotel). I pray for her and I ask that nothing bad happen to my companions. I don’t speak aloud, but I pray for them because they’re persons like me…».
«I’m mad, sad, hurt, rejected, no one likes me, I don’t know who to blame: is it better to hate other people or myself, or hate the world. Look, from my childhood I believed in You and You’ve let this happen to me. I give You another chance to protect me now. Okay, I forgive You, but please don’t leave me again…».
What mystery is wrapped up in Jesus to have such power in the heart of these people? How much the lives of many would be changed if they knew him better.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf