Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation

Winners and losers. From the Bible the invitation not to be discouraged

http://www.illibraio.it 28.09.2022 Alberto Maggi Translated by: Jpic-jp.org

As biblical scholar Alberto Maggi recalls in his reflection for the Libraio.it, "when evil seems to have the upper hand, in reality it shows that it is already defeated. It is precisely for this reason that Jesus invites us to have eyes to see and ears to hear, and so to interpret with his Spirit the events of history, aware that every giant has feet of clay and is destined not only to collapse ruinously, but also to disappear 'without a trace'..."

At the most dramatic moment of his life, when he is about to be captured, mocked and humiliated, tortured and killed as one cursed by God, Jesus animates his disciples and says to them: "Have courage: I have overcome the world." Jesus' word is not a future promise. He does not assure that he will win, announcing the triumph of the resurrection, but declares that he has already won.

How can he affirm this? Nothing seems to allow this certainty, hope or illusion, quite the contrary. Jesus has failed in his mission. He has everyone against him.

Not only did “even his brothers not believe in him” and “many of his disciples turned back and no longer went with him”, but even the religious authorities themselves, the leaders of the people were certain that Jesus was a sinner, a madman possessed by a demon. That is why they tried to stone him as a blasphemer and wanted to kill him.

In this dramatic failure of his, Jesus will also drag his followers into it, to the point of warning them that “they will be driven out of the synagogues and that whoever kills them will believe that he is worshipping God.”

Yet, in spite of all this, Jesus is certain that those who, like him, will stand for Life, Light and Truth will always be victorious over lies, darkness and all forms of death. Truth, Light and Life in the gospels are always related to the unconditional love of the Creator for his creatures. For the Lord, there is no value that can be superimposed on the good of man, his freedom and happiness.

Jesus' conviction that he has already won comes from having fully accepted the Creator's plan and from his commitment, even to the point of giving his own life, to collaborate in the Father's creative action of making every man his son. It is from this that springs the certainty shown by Jesus, despite the mortal coil that is about to envelop and swallow him up, that he is victorious.

When the earth was still "formless and deserted and darkness covered the abyss", the Creator was already at work and his spirit was vibrating on the waters generating life that was beginning to emerge and manifest itself. Seven times in the book of Genesis the action of the Creator is rendered with the expression “God saw that it was good,” where the Hebrew tov indicates not only what is good, but also what is beautiful. In reality there was nothing good, less beautiful, but what was materialising in nature as an effect of the creative Word was a frightening and certainly not attractive magma. The Creator's gaze, however, was not fixed on what was, but on what that indistinct mass of elements would become.

God is the artist who in the formless mass already sees his masterpiece. To realise it, it takes time and patience, perhaps too much for us who instead desire everything and right away. However, haste does not seem to be part of divine action, which respects the times and modes of nature and life cycles. Scripture compares creative action to the labour pains of childbirth, where groans and suffering prelude great joy. Just as a human being is not born already adult, complete, but as a fragile and defenceless infant, in need of care and attention, for whom failure to respect the necessary stages of growth would be catastrophic, so is the dynamism of progress in human history.

There is a development, a slow but at the same time “ardent expectation” for the transformation of all that is inhuman into human, which takes its own time and needs the active cooperation of individuals to reach its full completeness. And its fulfilment is more than certain. Jesus came to fulfil the creative action of the Father, for whom "no project is impossible".

The Creator's masterpiece, to which all his action points, is man made in his image. Paul writes that even “before the creation of the world” God had chosen men to be his “adopted sons through Jesus Christ.” The Lord cares for this plan of his and will not allow the events of life to ruin or destroy it.

The God to whom “nothing is impossible”, by his action and the active cooperation of his creatures ensures that every event in life, however difficult or painful, does not detract from his work but becomes an opportunity for growth and an occasion for enrichment. Jesus assures that situations in life that may seem like stones that crush it are actually bread that nourishes it ("Who among you, to the son who asks him for bread, will give a stone?").

Paul, on the basis of his experience that led him to affirm that when he is weak that is when he is strongest, does not speak of hope but of certainty, not only his own, but that of those like him who have experienced the love of Christ. He even goes so far as to affirm that “we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, for those who have been called according to his plan”. The Apostle not only makes his own the certainty that Jesus has won, but, listing all the possible dangers, misfortunes and calamities that can befall a man (from tribulation to anguish, from persecution to hunger, from nakedness to the sword), he concludes by triumphantly exclaiming that “in all these things we are more than conquerors”. The believer is not a loser and not only wins, but overcomes.

Not only those who believe in God and Christ, but anyone who believes in Life, Light and Truth. That is why Easter is a human event because it ensures the victory of goodness, of truth in the light of life. Happy Easter then to all, believers and non-believers alike.

See Alberto Maggi – Vincitori e vinti: dalla Bibbia l’invito a non scoraggiarsi

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