sexta-feira, 18 de março de 2016


The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
Psalm 118:22 (read Psalm 18:17-24) NIV

In nature nothing is thrown away. Everything is recycled. The psalmist poetically uses the illustration of a stone rejected by builders. What they threw away became the most important of all.

The Hebrews interpreted "that stone" to be the hope in name given to God, YHWH. This Hebrew name probably has the sense of "THE ONE WHO IS". Many biblical versions translate this word as LORD. Others use JEHOVAH or YAHWEH without translation. I prefer the term THE ETERNAL ONE which seems nearer to the original sense – “The One who was, who is and who will be, the basis of our being.

The first generation of Jesus' followers interpreted "the stone" as being Jesus who was rejected by the ecclesiastic powers and politicians of his time. He who had been rejected became the center of the faith of those who were also rejected. Neither rejection nor death has the victory. The psalmist affirms that the final word is with the life and exaltation of the rejected.

Our life is a constant dialogue between life and death. Death is a reality, sometimes glaring, sometimes far: a moment of danger in traffic, a worrying symptom in the body, the loss of a loved one, the falling leaves of the trees, the evening news. Generally death lurks on the distant horizon. When it draws near and then moves away, we give thanks for life, for salvation! The psalmist felt this play of emotions in his life: the dread of approaching death and the relief of salvation.

Even in the best of circumstances, death is never farther away than a heartbeat. One day the heart will stop beating. Cemeteries attest to the fact that someday we all will have a date of death to accompany our date of birth. Even facing this fact, the psalmist declares "I will not die but live." (vs 17). He had hope in final victory.

There is a new form of death threatening humankind today – the death of a sustainable environment for human life. We are destroying our home, planet Earth, in the name of profit and progress.

Even while professing faith in spiritual values, our day by day practice is to throw them away. The culture of globalization puts industrial and economic growth as the great goal to be achieved. Prosperity becomes a spiritual goal and poverty is a sign of a lack of spirituality. The rich are exalted and the poor despised. The "stone" of social coexistence and general welfare is rejected. The rich live off of governmental benefits and the poor are tossed out to fend for themselves. Welfare has become a dirty word. Predatory exploitation of environmental and human resources has become the norm. What predominates today is the practice of accumulation and consumption without regard to their long term effects.

The hope of the survival of humankind is in the "stone" of social coexistence and environmental sustainability. Never before in the history of humanity has this hope become more urgent! The aggression of human beings against each other and against “Mother Earth” has never as intense as it is today! Large populations are being victimized and the environment devastated by all kinds of greed. Humans have invented instruments of destruction capable of complete self-destruction. Therefore a “Sustainable Spirituality” needs to be retrieved.

Human beings are superior
to other forms of life.
Human beings are a part of a web of life that includes all living things.
Nature exists to be used by human beings.
All nature has value in itself.
Domination of Nature.
Harmony with Nature.
Economic growth as a base for human development.
Social and environtamental harmony as supreme values.
Belief in unlimited resources.
Recognition of limited resources.
Progress based on high technology.
Non dominate use of science and technology.
Needs and conservation.
Centralized national communities.
Bioregions and recognition of minority traditions.


I will not die but live,
    and will proclaim what the Lord has done.
The Lord has chastened me severely,
    but he has not given me over to death.
Open for me the gates of the righteous;
    I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord
    through which the righteous may enter.
I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
    you have become my salvation.
The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes.
The Lord has done it this very day;
    let us rejoice today and be glad.

Nenhum comentário: