Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Call to conversion

1. Christ showed that the human is beloved by God whom he called his "Father". So the consequence of this love of God is our love for each other. Remember what we said about Amos. He was prophet who denounced the INDIFFERENCE of the people of Israel towards the poor in their land. The human, caught in the "turbines" of injustice become blind to others. People become stuck in their biases, prejudices, egoism, they fail to see others as neighbors. People even use force to put away others. People leave the poor, for example, in the conditions of misery. A social "hole" exist among people.

2. If we read Amos carefully especially the first chapter, see Amos 1, we will notice that there God has nothing against the fact that other people have other religions. God is angry because of the inhumanity and injustice going on both among his own people and the foreign nations. There is the breakdown of humanity in all the nations. See also Amos 6/ 1 and 6/4-7.

3. If we read the parable of Lazarus and the rich man (see Luke 16/19-31), we see Jesus defining the gap between Lazarus and the rich. That gap is symbolized by the distance between hell and the seat of Abraham. The gap is preserved BECAUSE OF THE ABSENCE OF CONVERSION THAT COULD HAPPEN. The rich man just refused conversion; he refused recognizing his fraternity with the poor man Lazarus and therefore refused the fraternity God has offered him. The rich man tries strategies to make Abraham send Lazarus to his own family, but never is there sign of conversion in the rich man.

4. Sometimes we might want to show spectacular presentations to make others "convert" to our Church. We show them practices and other forms of religiosity. That may be ok. But the conversion we really should offer is that of WHAT TOUCHES THE HUMAN HEART. The human heart seeks for God; the human heart wants assurance that all is ok and that the human is not condemned by God. The human eart IS CONVERTED TO WHAT IS OFFERED AS A LIBERATION FROM THE NET OF BREAKDOWN IN LIFE. The human heart is CONVERTED TO WHAT IT SEES AS TRULY LIBERATING. Christianity then offers the message: accept that we are beloved by God, accept that we are children of God and live in the light of that acceptance. It is what Jesus himself taught. Life will win, be of good cheer, life has won over death.

5. Conversion therefore DISCOURAGES the perpetuation of injustice, loss of fraternity, dehumanization of fellows. Conversion discourage the attiitude of the rich man who refuses to see fraternity with the poor Lazarus. God loves us, so let us not refuse that and let that love express in our lives with others.

6. St. Paul showed this well. "Pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. Compete well for the faith. Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called when you made the noble confession in the presence of many witnesses" (1Tim.6/11-12).

7. Conversion is conversion TO A LIFE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. Affirm the love of God and accept that it is possible to live just and correct, with the help of the grace of Christ and the Spirit. This is what we present in Mission and Proclamation.

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