Translated from the original by Ana Giménez.
In full insight of the fourth mansion, and unexpectedly sudden, we find ourselves confined at home, with no possibility to go out, with the churches closed in many diocese in the world.
We are witnesses of the effort of many anonymous people in hospitals and various services which hold the silent life of the cities. And of many others who suffer and die without the close affection of their relatives.
To assimilate what has happened is going to take us some time, and even more to draw the consequences. Suddenly, we are realising that we are sacred temple of God and that our house and the heart of every Christian has become a Church.
As the Jewish people discovered a new way of living in exile in Babylon, we Christians nowadays, together, will discover little by little a new way of living, according to Jesus´s lifestyle taught by Him.
With the humility of one who knows helpless against this tragedy, we plead the Holy Spirit to facilitate us to experience His Love (fourth mansion) and to give us the needed strength to learn to live following Jesus Christ.
Jesus comes to us with a programme for life, and we together are trying to settle on how to apply knowledge in a practical way.
The Jewish people very soon discovered that the God in whom they believed, revealed Himself in their History. They, men and women, would read the events as persons who had had a close relationship with God. They were the prophets.
Free people, with no ties, with a clear tendency towards defending the last ones in society and criticising powerful people when necessary. Able to extract from events lessons for life. They would announce and denounce, they would never keep quiet.
For a Christian the quintessentially prophet is Jesus Christ. He had the opportunity during His life to learn from previous prophets and once the time came to start His public life, He didn´t invent everything.
He suggested a way of living following the tradition of the prophets and from them he copied many of His proposals.
The programme for life that He proposes is copied from the book of Isaiah. Saint Luke´s account tells us that He entered the synagogue and started reading a text. We are not told how long it lasted, only a piece of the text is reproduced, He may have read much more. If we carefully compare Luke´s Gospel, we can appreciate that Jesus in His programme for life literally copies Isaiah III, except for one sentence, the one which says that one day God will seek revenge. Jesus removes that sentence from Isaiah because the prophet of prophets doesn´t admit a vengeful or violent God. (Quotations in Spanish are taken from the Biblia del Peregrino Latinoamericana).
Luke 4:16-17 “16 Then Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been raised. As was his custom, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day. When he stood up to read, 17 the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written, 18 “The Spirit of the Lord[p] is upon me; he has anointed me to tell the good news to the poor. He has sent me to announce release to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set oppressed people free, 19 and to announce the year of the Lord’s favor.”20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. While the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on him, 21 he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled, as you’ve heard it read aloud.”
The favourite people in this kind of life He proposes, are not the powerful people but the last ones in society, the poor ones to whom Good News is announced, the sinnners, etc. According to the way He was born and the way He lived, the son of God teaches us to view life from down below, from the dirty feet of the apostles.
That is how Isaiah explains it:
61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord[a] is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed and to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners;2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, The day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;3 to provide for those who grieve in Zion to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, a mantle of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” “Then people will call them “Oaks of Righteousness”, “The Planting of the Lord”, in order to display his splendor.
If we keep on Reading Isaiah´s text we can appreciate that after that first version there in a parallel one, similar to the previous one, but seen from love´s point of view, in particular seem from the marriage of God with His people. It will be the favourite vision in John´s Gospel, although it can also be found in the Synoptic Gospels. Included the one adopted by the mystics included Teresa of Jesus.
61:10 “I will heartily rejoice in the Lord, my soul will delight in my God; for he has wrapped me in garments of salvation; he has arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, just like a bridegroom (…)and like a bride adorns herself with her jewels.(…)
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet,
Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness,
And her salvation like a torch that is burning.
2 The nations will see your righteousness,
And all kings your glory;
And you will be called by a new name
Which the mouth of the Lord will designate.
3 You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
And a royal headband in the hand of your God.
4 It will no longer be said to you, “Forsaken,”
Nor to your land will it any longer be said, “Desolate”;
But you will be called, “My delight is in her,”
And your land, “Married”;
For the Lord delights in you,
And to Him your land will be married.
5 For as a young man marries a virgin,
So your sons will marry you;
And as the [e]groom rejoices over the bride,
So your God will rejoice over you.
The coming of Jesus Christ in John´s Gospel has a magnificent, Wagnerian vision overture in its first chapter. In it, we are given a summary of the whole Gospel. Jesus Christi s the light and the life who comes to the world and “yet his own people did not receive Him, However, to all who received him, He gave authority to become God’s children”. The second chapter fills us with joy when we know we are in a wedding: Jesus and His mother were at Cana´s wedding, those were the beginnings of a new world with good wine. The Son came to the world to finalize a spiritual marriage. It is the path that Saint Teresa of Jesus is preferably going to follow.
This is some of Jesus´ programme for life that we nowadays may together pursue. All this is improved upon the Beatitudes and the group prayer, the Lord’s prayer. All His life narrated in the Gospels is not but the precision of this lifestyle. May the Virgin Mary support us.
(To be continued)