sexta-feira, 7 de julho de 2017


How often I have longed
to gather your children together,
as a hen gathers her chicks
under her wings,
and you were not willing.
Luke 13:34b (read 13:31-35) - NIV

Jesus likened himself to a hen. Hens have a maternal instinct: to lay eggs, to hatch them, to protect their chicks from the cold and other hazards and to help them find food. Chicks need their mother until they develop their own feathers. They know that they are dependant, how to identify the mother and to stay close to her.

The people of Jerusalem did not have the intelligence of a chick. They ignored their "mother" who could have given them life and was able to cope with difficulties. Some even rebelled against her by killing her. This was an act of self-destruction. But the maternal instinct of Jesus was so strong that he insisted on calling them unto himself even until the end.

What happened in Jerusalem nearly two millennia ago is still being repeated constantly in human history and on an even larger scale. Humanity commits many acts against its very source of life and is moving towards self-destruction.

We could learn from primitive tribes that are uncontaminated by our civilizations. The primitives considered all creatures to be a brotherhood, each species with its own powers and characteristics. They sought to imitate them and take on their qualities. Hunting was not a sport, but a minor activity and only a way of supplementing their food supply. The earth itself was treated respectfully as a mother and looked upon as the source of life. They were aware of their fragility in the face of nature and their interdependence with it. Their well-being depended on the integration with nature and not on dominating it.

Most of us do not think of ourselves as being animals. We are wrong. Our DNA differs little from that of a pig. With this small difference we think we have the right to act like gods by manipulating everything and everyone around us to promote our own selfish interests. With this attitude we are creating a fantasy world and destroying nature along with ourselves. We are depleting the resources of the globe without thinking about the long term consequences. With globalization we are killing the hen which gives us life, sustenance and protection. The world is becoming a global Jerusalem by killing the prophets and heading for self-destruction.

Jesus was not interested in only the salvation (health) of the soul. The signs of his kingdom were social and physical: the cure and liberation of bodies. Jesus was not interested in saving only the soul of Jerusalem, but also in its integrity. The spirituality of a healthy Christianity should embrace the world and include everything that has anything to do with general welfare. The Jerusalem of today is global and is in danger of extinction.

We are agents of the "Big Hen" which calls humanity to take shelter under her wings.

"Gathering under the wings" symbolizes the acceptance of the value system of Jesus. Compassion replaces personal ambition. Love of neighbor is the other half of self-esteem. Solidarity takes place of competitiveness. This “gathering” is manifested by already living the Kingdom of love in this world which is dominated by ambition, prejudice, hatred and violence.


At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”

He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

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