you must put them under the curse of destruction. You must not make any treaty with them (Deuteronomy 7. 2)

The problem of the people of God was always one.
They would try to serve at the same time
Yahweh, the one and only God
and the gods of the neighbouring people.

The problem of our people is the same.
We try to serve both the God of Jesus Christ
and the gods of the neighbouring people:
money, fame, respect, science, comfort, politics…

And thus we suffer!

Jesus Christ reasons differently
He topples our whole educational system
He calls happy the ones we consider to be insignificant,
and cursed the ones we consider to be cool.

He says ‘happy are the poor’
while we always thought
that you can only be happy if you have money in hand.
Money to raise up a family,
money to spend,
money to lavish on opulence.
Money makes us independent of others
so that we won’t need other people,
We say: ‘happy are the rich. They are lucky’.

Jesus also says: ‘happy are those who mourn’
while we have always thought that we are happy when we laugh,
when we watch a movie, devour, dance, have fun.

He is so clear: ‘Happy are the gentle
happy are the merciful
happy are the peacemakers.’

And we think that we will be happy
if we fight for our rights
if we do not allow anyone to mar our reputation
if we pay back those who do us wrong
if we do not allow anyone to deceive us
if we hurt others if needs be.

But Jesus Christ keeps on saying:
‘Happy are you when people insult and persecute you
and speak all kinds of calumny against you falsely on my account…
Yes, happy are you.’

Who is right?
We or him?
Our value system or his?
The way we have been educated in life, or the way He wants to educate us?

It is easy to answer these questions.
Look at the fruits, says Jesus Christ.
What is the fruit of our education?
Frustration.
Tranquillizers.
Sadness.

But if we start reasoning out like Jesus Christ,
in other words,
if we show mercy without being selective who to serve,
but rather take on ourselves the sins of others;
if we learn to be poor,
that is we appreciate the situation we are in;
if we live with a pure heart,
that is we see the excellence in others
and consider the others better than we;
if we bring peace,
and work for unity and not for division…

If we do this, we will taste happiness.
Because we will be tasting God Himself.

It’s obvious,
is it not?!

“Look, to Yahweh your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens,
the earth and everything on it.
Yet it was on your ancestors, for love of them, that Yahweh set his heart
to love them, and he chose their descendants after them,
you yourselves, out of all nations, up to the present day.
Circumcise your heart then and be obstinate no longer.
Love the stranger then,
for you were once strangers in Egypt.
Yahweh your God is the one whom you must fear,
and serve,
To him you must hold firm;
in his name take your oaths.
Him you must praise.”
(Deuteronomy 10.14-16,19-21)


 

(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.