Today's Wisdom

Those who do not pass from the experience of the cross to the truth of the resurrection condemn themselves to despair! For we cannot encounter God without first crucifying our narrow notions of a god who reflects only our own understanding of omnipotence and power
Pope Francis

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Henri Boulad, S.J.: The Parables of Jesus Yesterday and Today

In this fascinating book, Fr. Henri Boulad, S.J. imagines the person of Jesus in today's world teaching a kid how to ride a bicycle; speaking about a movie that the youth had watched; talking in a celebration of university graduates; participating in a party of highly-regarded businessmen and influential leaders whose success in business is the object of envy by less-successful businessmen; and an illegal immigrant in France always on the go for fear of being arrested by police.
In one of the parables, Jesus was invited to a dinner party in a billionaire's mansion. The billionaire who wanted to see Jesus welcomed him at the door and escorted him across several large rooms full of luxurious items, carpets, paintings, and luminous lights. When they arrived to the reception hall, the billionaire invited Jesus to sit on one of the expensive chairs, but Jesus declined and sat instead on a little wooden seat. Before any of the other invited guests started to ask Jesus any questions, the news of the latest global financial markets emerged in a heated discussion until one of the guests stood up to proudly say how he bought a luxurious palace in one of the Caribbean Islands in addition to the many other mansions that he owns in several states around the world. With much satisfaction in the admiration he received from the crowd of other like-minded businessmen, he turned to his neighbor and asked him whether he spent a nice Summer vacation, but the man interrupted the question by saying "It could have been a nice trip with my family on my own yacht, but unfortunately I was constantly bothered by my assistants telling me about my great financial losses in the market."
Then came the turn of the host to speak to his friends about his huge fortune which he accumulated in different winning deals and trades of weapons between Tehran, Baghdad, and Western countries as well as deals in selling drugs between the Far East, Beirut, and Amsterdam. Additional deals included the selling of women and children between Brazil, Thailand, and Western Europe.
Silence pervaded the entire hall. All stood in admiration of the man whose skills outperformed theirs. They stared at him with a look full of envy and asked for details about his stories of success. He went on telling them how he invested his fortune in British Sterling Pound which is very secure. To reassure them, he took out a little electronic device that updates him momentarily of the latest indicators of the stock markets in the globe. But as soon as he looked at his device, he started to stutter as he knew that the British Pound fell sharply in Wall Street - a fatal loss of his fortune. At this moment, hardly able to breath the host fell unconscious on the floor. His friends transported him to the most advanced hospital in the city. In vain, physicians attempted to rescue him with the latest equipment hooked to his body but he died in a few hours.
His corpse was taken to the Cathedral where a funeral service was arranged. As he lay surrounded by white flowers and many candles, a crowd of public figures, clerics, and businessmen attended his funeral.

In his jeans, Jesus was not allowed to enter the Cathedral. He only watched from far. What a great success and a beautiful funeral!

[And he told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought to himself, `What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?' And he said, `I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.' But God said to him, `Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."] (Luke 12: 16-21)

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"Behold I make all things new." (Revelation 21:5)


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