Loving you, Jesus — prayer from Argentina

Difficult scriptures. Preachers avoid them. Leaders of cult groups use them to manipulate people into controlled living situations. Most of us read through them as quickly as possible. Not Gerardo Oberman, who takes what is arguably a very difficult text and realizes that it is not about hate, but about love and learning love from the one who can teach it best. It is not about a “cross” of self-flagellation or of an illness or of an abusive spouse … “my cross to bear” but about a cross to raise — a cross of justice and hope and, ultimately, love. Katie Fiegenbaum translates into English.

“If someone comes to me and does not hate their father or mother, their wife or children, their brothers or sisters, or even their own life, they cannot be my disciple. And he who does not carry his own cross and follows me, cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26-27)

Loving you, Jesus,
this is what we’re addressing.

Loving you like ocean waves love the coast,
that in an instant, moves away,
but always returns.
Loving you,
because every other love is foam,
including the love of family.

Loving you,
so in that love,
we build healthy relationships,
sustained with respect,
with listening,
with acceptance,
with the shared search
for communities that are affectionate,
inclusive, supportive, generous, wide,
capable of embracing diversity.

Loving you
so in that love
life is not just my small life
but the splendor that we share
with all persons in their virtue and fragility,
their achievement and failure,
their pain and their joy;
and so that this living also
includes conscious care
of each of the works of God’s creation.

Loving you above every other love,
is to learn to truly love
everyone and everything.

Loving you and later following you,
with the cross as a symbol
not of a death to weep,
nor of a failure to come to terms with,
nor of a torture to undergo,
but as a promise of full life,
as victorious announcement of love over hate
as signal of hope in new realities,
as symbol of the justice of God
that uproots death’s arrogance.

Loving you and following you,
with cross raised
as denunciation of all forms of oppression,
as slight to all treachery,
as mirror of all hypocrisy,
as call to humility in service,
as open invitation to every suffering person,
as offering of pardon and new opportunities,
as the beacon of worlds
without walls, without bars, without exclusions.

Loving you and following you.

 

“Si alguno viene a mí y no sacrifica el amor a su padre y a su madre, a su esposa y a sus hijos, a sus hermanos y a sus hermanas, y aun a su propia vida, no puede ser mi discípulo. Y el que no carga su cruz y me sigue, no puede ser mi discípulo.” (Lucas 14:26-27)

Amarte, Jesús, de eso se trata.
Amarte como las olas del mar que aman la costa,
que por instantes se alejan,
pero siempre regresan.

Amarte a vos,
porque cualquier otro amor es espuma,
incluso el amor a nuestra propia sangre.

Amarte a vos,
para que en ese amor
construyamos relaciones sanas,
sostenidas en el respeto,
en la escucha,
en la aceptación,
en la búsqueda compartida
de comunidades de afecto,
inclusivas, solidarias, generosas, amplias,
capaces de abrazar en la diversidad.

Amarte a vos,
para que en ese amor
la vida no sea apenas mi pequeña vida
sino el espacio maravilloso que compartimos
con cada persona en su virtudes y en sus fragilidades,
en sus logros y en sus fracasos,
en sus dolores y en sus alegrías;
y para que la vida sea también
acompañar el cuidado consciente
de cada una de las obras de la creación de Dios.

Amarte a vos sobre cualquier otro amor,
para así aprender a amar de verdad
a todos y a todo.

Amarte y luego seguirte,
con la cruz como símbolo
no de una muerte para llorar
o de un fracaso por asumir
o de una tortura que sufrir,
sino como promesa de vida plena,
como anuncio victorioso del amor sobre el odio,
como señal de esperanza en realidades nuevas,
como estandarte de la justicia de Dios
que supo arrancarle a la muerte su soberbia.

Amarte y seguirte,
con la cruz levantada
como denuncia de toda forma de opresión,
como desprecio a todas las traiciones,
como espejo de todas las hipocresía,
como llamado a la humildad en el servicio,
como invitación abierta a cada persona sufriente,
como oferta de perdón y de nuevas oportunidades,
como faro hacia mundos
sin muros, sin rejas, sin exclusiones.
Amarte y seguirte.

 

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