THE OBLIGATION OF WALKING ON WATER, Guest Post by Pablo Alaguibe of Argentina

(with many thanks for the translation by Katie Fiegenbaum, and with most thanks to the amazing ongoing work of Red Crearte — the gracious source and gatherer and open table of liturgy from South America.)

Yes. It can be
that things are as we say.
But with an exception.
How to say that —

having read those German theologians
does not exempt us from the obligation
of walking on water.

Having overcome biblical literalism
does not free us from the duty
of feeding literally thousands
with five literal loaves and two literal fish.

Questioning what was learned
does not authorize us to not resurrect
the only son of a widow.

Having realized that God’s realm
demands much more than one personal change,
does not exempt us from the obligation
of conversing with God until we shine,
in such a way that our friends
want to stay close and never leave again.

Being disgusted by the moues of innocence
and the tender small voices of priest or pastor,
and having understood that these manners
are not always sincere
and do not always express the character of God,
does not excuse us from being humans
at whose step thistles flower,
hearts like rock are moved,
and storms return to peaceful waters.

Understanding that the task implies
demolishing the foundations of an empire with truth
does not exempt us from the duty
of repairing the broken ear of a police officer.
Having finally discovered
that the work of God is to laugh with children,
dance at parties and make water wine,
does not absolve us from the curious assignment
of one day receiving a bullet in the side.

And having learned
that the story includes death
does not prevent us from the task of continuing to live
and going through doors and walls,
and returning to friends and embracing them,
and eating a roasted fish with them.               (asado) *

*Asado is in a long tradition of argentine barbecue

LA OBLIGACIÓN DE CAMINAR SOBRE EL AGUA

Sí. Puede ser
que las cosas sean así como decimos.
Pero con alguna salvedad.
Como decir que

el haber leído a esos teólogos alemanes
no nos exime de la obligación
de caminar sobre el agua.

El haber superado el literalismo bíblico
no nos libera del deber
de alimentar literalmente a miles
con cinco panes y dos peces literales.

El cuestionar lo aprendido
no nos autoriza a no resucitar
al hijo único de una viuda.

El habernos dado cuenta de que el reino de Dios
demanda mucho más que un cambio personal,
no nos exime de la obligación
de conversar con Dios hasta brillar,
de modo que nuestros amigos
quieran quedarse cerca y no irse nunca más.

Estar asqueados de las caritas de inocencia
y de las vocecitas tiernas de cura o de pastor,
y haber comprendido que esos modos
no son siempre sinceros
y no expresan siempre el carácter de Dios,
no nos desliga del trabajo de ser seres
a cuyo paso los cardos florezcan,
los corazones de piedra se conmuevan,
y las tormentas se vuelvan agua mansa.

El comprender que la misión implica
demoler con verdades los cimientos de un imperio
no nos exime del deber
de reparar la oreja rota de un gendarme.

El haber descubierto finalmente
que la obra de Dios es reír con niños,
bailar en fiestas y hacer del agua vino,
no nos absuelve del curioso encargo
de recibir un día un tiro en el costado.

Y el haber aprendido
que la historia incluye muerte
no nos evita la tarea de seguir viviendo
y atravesar puertas y muros,
y volver a los amigos y abrazarlos,
y de comer con ellos un pescado asado.

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