Buscamos inspiração na pessoa de Jesus para fazermos a nossa jardinagem do espírito. Ele foi o jardineiro por excelência. Soube cultivar as sementes da fé para produzirem plantas que fornecem abrigo e sustento. Este blog é um esforço para fazer a nossa jardinagem das passagens bíblicas à luz de Jesus que é digno de servir como nosso modelo.
Convidamos os leitores a aprenderem com ELE e fazerem a sua própria jardinagem.
sexta-feira, 4 de novembro de 2016
GOING FORTH INTO THE WORLD
Jesus went on from there,
he saw a man named Matthew
sitting at the tax collector’s booth.
“Follow me,” he told him,
and Matthew got up and followed him.
Matthew 9:9 (read 9:9-13, 18-26) – NIV
Jesus did not
just sit around and wait for the others to come to him. He did not set up
meeting places where the needy could go to seek aid. He did not schedule
meetings to perform healings and distribute blessings. Rather, he was the one
who walked towards the needy and met them where they were. Healings and
blessings happened anywhere and anytime! They were spontaneous, without the
need to "create appropriate settings". Some of those who sought him
even had trouble finding him, because Jesus did not stay at a fixed place. His
"church" was mobile.
Also, he was
able to see what was unnoticed by most. How many people had passed by Matthew
without actually seeing him? For most people, Matthew was a person to be
avoided. He represented evil. He was the "bogeyman" of the hated
foreign occupation government. He levied taxes. But to Jesus Matthew was a poor
lonely soul devoid of friendships and lacking a purpose in life. Jesus simply
demonstrated friendship and invited him to come along. Matthew accepted the
invitation and embarked on a new direction in life.
Jesus was not
understood by the Pharisees who wanted to preserve the purity of religion. For
them, good people did not mix with sinners. But for Jesus, holiness is valid
only when it freely mixes with sinners. Jesus felt more at home among sinners
than among the “saints”. Until this day, the “saints” cannot understand this
and strive to remain separate from sinners. Sinners, in turn, feel the
rejection of the “saints”.
A hospital is a
place where healthy and sick people mix. Hospitals exist in order to shelter
the sick and create conditions for recovery. Hospitals have a staff which
interns only sick people in order to heal them and release them to return to
normal lives. After they get well they are not retained in the hospital in order
to stay healthy.
religion is like a hospital without the sick. Churches have their "staff
of saints", but they want to admit only the spiritually healthy and keep
them interned forever. To be admitted to the church, one must demonstrate that he
or she is no longer sinful. If one falls into sin he or she may be expelled
from the church. The "cured" sinners need to stay in the church to
maintain their spiritual health.
religiousness of the "perfect" has long been a stumbling block to
sinners. Nothing has changed. Even today, the tendency of religion is to ignore
compassion for the needy and favor discriminate religious practices. For
example, consider the Lord’s Supper. It is seen as the “privilege of the
saints” and not as “medicine for sinners”. Sinners are barred from a ritual
that symbolizes the body and blood of Jesus which was given to redeem the
sinners of the world. Our practice of the Lord’s Supper is only for those who
consider themselves already redeemed. It is an ironic act which annuls it as a
symbol of redemption. Sinners are barred from the liturgy of redemption.
Jesus is a
challenge for us to go out into the world and mix with all kinds of people. The
love that Jesus practiced was outgoing and outreaching. Our closed and locked church
buildings are symbols of alienation, serving only for a select few to
occasionally meet together and play out religious roles. Only as we go out to
others in compassion and solidarity will the Gospel that we profess to follow
have any significance. Will we be able to overcome the barriers that we have
created? “Jesus went on from there.” Shall we also?
9:9-13, 18-26 – NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)
As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named
Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and
Matthew got up and followed him.
While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many
tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the
Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with
tax collectors and sinners?”
On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy
who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire
mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and
knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your
hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his
Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for
twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to
herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”
Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he
said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.
When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and
saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, he said, “Go away. The girl is
not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. After the crowd had been put
outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. News of this
spread through all that region.