OF WHAT DO WE NEED TO REPENT?
It’s not hard to summarize Jesus’ message: God isn’t an indifferent and far away being, that moves in the world, interested only in God’s honor and God’s rights. God is someone who seeks the best for all. God’s saving power is acting in the depth of life. God only wants the collaboration of God’s creatures in order to lead the world to God’s fullness: «The Reign of God is near. Repent».
But what does it mean to collaborate in God’s project? Of what do we need to repent? Jesus’ call isn’t directed only to the «sinners» so that they abandon their conduct and appear a little more like those who already observe God’s law. That’s not what concerns Jesus. Jesus directs himself to all, since all need to learn to act in a different way. His objective isn’t that in Israel they live out a more faithful religion to God, but that his followers introduce into the world a new dynamic: one that responds to God’s project. I’ll note the key points.
Compassion must always be the beginning of our actions
We need to introduce into the world a compassion toward those who suffer: «Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate». There are enough great words that talk about justice, equality, or democracy. Without compassion toward the least they amount to nothing. Without practical help for the unfortunate of the earth there’s no human progress.
The dignity of the least must be the main goal
«The last will be first». We need to imprint a new direction on history. We need to direct our culture, the economy, the democracies and the Churches to look toward those who can’t live in a dignified way.
We need to push a process of healing that frees humanity of what destroys and degrades it: «Go and heal»
Jesus doesn’t find any better language. What’s decisive is to cure, relieve the suffering, heal life, construct a way of living together that is directed toward a more healthy, dignified and happy life for all.
This is Jesus’ heritage. Life will never be constructed the way God wants, unless the least are being liberated from their humiliation and suffering. No religion will ever be blessed by God, unless it seeks justice for these.
Jose Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf