2016. január 4., hétfő

In memoriam Rene Girard (1923-2015)

The second Sunday of Christmas is dominated by the theme of light. Christ as the light of the world shines on the whole cosmos and history itself, both measured by God's Life. The readings of the week in the morning and evening prayers unfold this theme. The Sermon on the Mount is a striking vision, even more, the very source of this Light. It is worth re-reading Matthew 5,17 to the end.
This teaching of Jesus is the key to heal our history, which has lost its ways. Seeing what is going on in the world, as if our world would have grown into a negative parallel world.... parallel to our failed possibilities to create a more peaceful global environment. Unfortunately, this 'worst version' prevails. All the missed chances, the wasted and missed opportunities for peace are the fictitious worlds.
Jesus' 'impossible demands', with a striking force, get the balance right between our present reality, and what, in a normal world, is the genuine, the real. 'For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of heaven.' Indeed, mediocrity, what we are at present, as persons, is not enough. It is only through these extra efforts that we can reverse the negative course of human history. The individual human heart must make this laborious step. Otherwise the news from our TV screens will grow into our room as 'here and now'.
I am thinking of the images of war-torn streets of the cities in Syria and Iraq. I feel ashamed that there is not one a single sober voice that would say: it is madness. What are these militias fighting for? 'Cities?' What one sees is the complete devastation of these cities and villages. Ruins. We are fighting for ruins, for streets and infrastructures destroyed for good. Only hubris govern our war efforts.
And where is the only valid and effective voice for peace? Dark gasses are smoking up from the mouths of politicians and world leaders. In the view of the Prince of Peace whom we have just been celebrating in the Christian (parallel) world: sending more weapons and fighter jets and air raids into these regions is madness and sin! The medication would be so simple, though.
'You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you: that ye may be the children o f your Father which is in heaven.'
Naivety? Then let us be content with the 'Father' of this parallel world: power, violence, repudiation and revenge; and all his/our scenarios.
Read these beautiful and compelling 'extra commandments'. Feel that only Jesus has the power and vision to resurrect what is dead in the body of History. His vision gives us the Kingdom of God as our collective healing − here and now.


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