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Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Sermon on the Mount

Witness: Anya, a Jewish peasant woman of the time of Jesus.

Story N. 10 (see previous posts).

The sun was hiding behind thick clouds, but as soon as Jesus reached the hilltop a light wind blew them away. Now a golden iridescence illuminates the crowds, glittering on their languid faces. Jesus’ voice echoes for miles around and its hypnotic sound raptures the senses. Spell-bounded, Anya is listening.

“Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.”
The Kingdom of heaven, she wonders…how will it be like? Will it be like a palace, with pillars sculpted in marble which stretch away as far as the eye can see? Or will it be a blue empty space where the angels rest on the clouds like graceful butterflies on white roses?
It will not be anything of this sort, she thinks as an ineffable image of the dawning of the Kingdom takes form in her mind. Jesus’ gaze will spread all over the earth. It will be a gaze of sorrow. His tears will become rivers carving their beds on the mountainsides. His breath will be the wind, and will restore to true life those who have gone astray….

“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”
Anya watches Jesus’ mantle blowing gently around his shoulders. One day it will expand into infinity, sheltering the entire world, and all evil will fade away in its shadow….

“Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Jesus’ wavy hair will become the ocean’s waves. They will carry silvery fishes on every bank, and people will feed in that overflowing abundance. His words will last forever. Their echo will be heard in the rumble of the torrents plunging from the hills and in the whispering of the leaves in the morning breeze. But Anya can hear them from his mouth, and it’s like being swept away into eternity.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
Anya is filled with the most unspeakable bliss. It’s true, she thinks, your yoke is easy. Even the hardest endeavor becomes easy in the light of your love. Everything that you touch turns into pure joy. All I want is to be near you, rest in you shadow…

“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
With open arms, Jesus is offering his all-embracing message of hope. Seen from above the crowd is like a field of crop, which the wind softly bends according to its will. The people are reaching out to Jesus with all their beings.
Anya smiles, thinking: The Kingdom of heaven is right here. I’m living it.