2003, An-Nahar, Articles

Oh Jesus of Nazareth / 19.04.2003

No one would ever author you my Lord. You authored the universe with your blood. Only your blood is true utterance. Only your blood is the word, and through it we got to know that God is unique in that He loves. We are towards You because of that freedom with which you removed slavery from the meaning of religion saying that we are beloved of yours and that we have a daring with your father because we are of his house.

You tell of all of your father’s inner being, you reveal His compassion and from it comes forth all that is tender, coming into the core of our pain, to the hearts of the myriads of sinners; So the compassion of your father is captured with our eyes so we can see the ultimate truth that God has sent you so you would tell of Him (reveal Him) nailed to the cross in what seems to be His weakness.

 You have refused to come down from the cross because had you done that they would have kept on thinking that God would bring them signs and miracles from him, and you did not want any sign for them except that of you stranded on the cross. With that death you joined the game that the devil wanted for you because he thought he could conquer you with what is his, that is death. It did not occur to him that a human being would volunteer to die out of love and that only love is able to destroy death.

No poet in the world is able to put together a love verse like the one you uttered with your suffering and blood. The people who lived south of us (in Palestine) were told, before you were born, that they were loved by their Lord. But they did not believe that because they were under the yoke of misery, the misery of their sins and they did not even dream that that God is the one able to lift from them the burdens that laid heavy on their souls.  

All human beings knew that God is able to shake the world, but one did not know truly that he is God’s beloved and that through this love he is equipped to be greater than the universe and more effective than all its elements.

Oh Jesus of Nazareth! If it happens that I think of you independently of the faith I have in you, I would have told the people who are well versed in human civilizations that no one before you or after you or those that lived at your times ever spoke about love like you did. Their words were ethical commandments close to poetic verse. But you said: “A new commandment I give to you that you love one another as I have loved you.” You might gather form the dialogues of Plato and the amiableness of Plotinus something that resembles love, and one could find some hints for it in the ancient mythology of the East, yet I do not know in the ancient writings, those of religion and those of literature, one who spoke (about love and other) with the impetus and the wholeness of what you uttered.

Yet that was not the moat excellent. The most excellent is that you said: “…..as I have loved you”. That is I have loved you till the end, till death. And above all that is that you revealed your love for Man in the reality of your body and blood. I know no one born of a woman who did not have a discrepancy between what he said and what he did. Let us consider for instance the Way you have established the followers of which were called Christians in Antioch. Those followers, the greatest among them, are “midgets “compared with you. All the Saints are small in that sense. Those among them that slightly measure up to you, are those that have shed their blood (for Christ). You alone in the history of Man had no discrepancy between what you said and what you lived. Even your enemies who have written against you could not but testify to that.

Bishop George Khodre

 April 19, 2003

The sermon on the mount of Mathew and Luke, and the farewell discourse of John are two summits (of literature) which no one can read and remain the same after having read them if one does that comprehending what he reads. And there are sections of the gospels that one does not find them of greater spiritual value than other books. There are texts of religious thought whether before you or after you, that are more beautiful in expression and more profound than what you have said. In the world there are very capturing ecstatic sparks that we do not find like them in your gospel; and people get mesmerized with the enchantment there is in language. but that’s not how your Good News (gospel) is read. The whole of it, from its alpha to its omega, is associated with the blood you, on the cross, have poured. You did not seek eloquence of speech; you are a carpenter and the friend of fishermen. You are not so keen on the glitter of words. Nothing indicates that you have were skilled at rhetoric; and if people are drawn to you because of it (rhetoric), they would not be drawn to the Divine presence hidden in you but only to what is external of you.

Love oh my Lord, is in the capacity of God only. But you have brought that down to the level of Mankind making them, courtesy of you, to live that love. There are many sides to love. But what draws my attention most, I, the author of this invocation, is that your love among humans, utters and forges forgiveness. You have forgiven the Jews because they did not know what they were doing. You ask more of your followers for you want them to forgive those who hurt them and who constantly work wound them and to slander them. You say that you have to forgive him who deliberately and intentionally seeks to destroy you and your affairs. You have to forgive him unconditionally without him asking you and without you asking anything of him in return. And all that because you want him to be of the children of the Kingdom. And you want him greater than you because the kingdom is for all God’s children and it is open for thieves and murderers to enter because those also are your loved ones and because you might have been one of them whether consciously or unconsciously. Such love oh Lord is what draws me to you most, oh Master of the hearts that are wounded by your kindness and meekness.

Oh sweetest Jesus! Dwell in the hearts of the poor and the vagabonds on this earth, those who follow you and those who haven’t heard of you. All of them are yours because of the love that you have for all the same. Be with the children whose parents neglect them leading them to impunities. Help people oppressed with illness and be the companion of those who are alone in their sorrows. And for married couples be a bond of unity and a caretaker of their children. Take into your care the peoples who are called underdeveloped by the great of the Earth. They are the apple of your eye oh My Savior. Tell those oppressed that you have come to relieve them from oppression. You are against the oppressor until he repents to you.

Wipe oh Lord every tear from our eyes so that weeping would cease from the face of the earth and Joy would be a resurrection.

Translated by Riad Mofarej

Original Text: “يا يسوع الناصري” – 19.04.2003

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