Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Jesus, My Rock

By Beth DeCristofaro

Trust in the LORD forever! For the LORD is an eternal Rock. (Isaiah 26:4)

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house.  But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. (Matthew 7:24)

“A strong city have we; he sets up walls and ramparts to protect us.  Open up the gates to let in a nation that is just, one that keeps faith. With firm purpose, you maintain peace; in peace, because of our trust in you.” (Isaiah 26: 1-3)

Sometimes even solid rock seems unsubstantial as mountains erupt or armies demolish massive stone statues.  We personally experience the world slip sideways when diagnosed with terminal ALS.  In a horrible tremor of morality, humans are kidnapped and forced into slavery around the world. Cautiously we build for permanence, physically, morally, and spiritually and God offers us a way to stand firm when solid life seems to dissolve.

New Chapel of Las Abejas, Acteal, Chiapas, Mexico. 
A community in SE Mexico devoted to non-violent Christian service had what they believed to be their rock solid, God-centered life devastated in 1997.  45 members of the Las Abejas were massacred by paramilitary troops as they prayed for peace in their modest wooden chapel.  Today those who survived and others who joined their movement practice forgiveness, even of their murderers, because that is what Jesus did.  Their way of life, their families, their homes were swept away as if built on sand but the rock at the core of their souls was firm and did not collapse. 

Sr. Barbara Read, OP, writes that Jesus’ merciful rule, begun in the Bethlehem stable, could not be extinguished by death on the cross. Jesus’ story to his friends shows us that our lives must be set solidly in his house and centered in his grace which protects us solidly and eternally.

The Mexican community calls itself “Las Abejas” which means “the bees” working for the Queen Bee, the reign of God.  In what way am I a worker bee preparing for the infant God?  Can I place the “sand” of my life – murder, oppression, illness, idolatry, addictions, anger, distrust, losses, hurts - in God’s hands and hold fast to the Rock of Jesus?

Say a prayer for Las Abejas, for people held hostage in Syrian cities, for trafficked children of the world. 

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