Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Fr Georges Massouh: Let Christ Defend Himself

Arabic original here.

Let Christ Defend Himself

Christ is upon the cross. The soldiers braided a cross of thorns and placed it on His head. They bowed before Him, mockingly. They spat on Him. They whipped Him. They nailed Him to the cross. Transgressors blasphemed Him. The chief priests and elders mocked Him. The thieves reproached Him. But He forgave those who crucified Him saying, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

If Christ had wanted to defend Himself, He would not have needed choirs of angels. He would not have needed the Apostle Peter's sword. He would not have needed an army of this world. He would not have needed high priests or priests. He is all-powerful. If He had wanted to defend Himself, He would have wiped all those who hurt Him from the face of the earth.

But He was faithful to His teachings, His words and His Good News. He did not retreat from His principles for worldly gain. Did He not say to His disciples, "Love your enemies. Bless those who curse you. Do good to those who hate you. Pray for those who hurt you and persecute you..."?

Christians, however, or at least most of them, always want to prove that they are in total opposition to their Lord and Master. They live in a deadly dualism combining opposites that cannot come together. This is the dualism that receives its legitimacy from  the tyranny of sectarian thinking over churchly thinking, or indeed, the total absence of churchly thinking in order to defend the interests of the sect and those leaders and plutocrats who control its affairs.

Christians, or at least most of them, are furious with those who curse Christ or mock Him but are silent before an unjust ruler who kills children and permits bloodshed and destruction. They are not content with this, but regard this unjust ruler as their protector and the guarantor of their remaining in this miserable Middle East.

Christians, or at least most of them, rise up against those who insult the saints but they pledge allegiance, with or without elections, to war criminals, perpetrators of massacres, strongmen, leaders, ministers and members of parliament. Indeed, they raise them to the ranks of the saints. They rise up against those who insult the saints, but they elect corrupt men who steal public money and plunder the state treasury. They are furious with those who insult Christ with words, but they have no problem with electing leaders who have soiled their hands with blood or money.

Christians, or at least most of them, rise up against those who insult a symbol of Christianity but are silent before the persecutions suffered by their brothers, the poor, widows, orphans and refugees...

There is no doubt that the problem lies in the exploitation of the sectarian factor to stir people up and provoke them against each other. This is why those who really are insulting Christ are ignored-- that is, those who insult man and his dignity-- and attention is drawn away from them toward people with no power or influence.

Christ will not be affected by a person who mocks Him, but rather He will pray for him. However, Christ will certainly regret the sight of a hungry child, a bereaved mother, or a man without shelter... Christ is insulted in them. Let those who want to defend Christ love those who wander about the lands of God with empty bellies, blanketed by the sky and with stones for pillows... Christ is not in need of politicians to recover His honor. They are in need of Christ who is present in the poor in order to regain their human dignity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen! I've been reading Fr. Georges' writings for years, and can say that they're a great inspiration, but never commented. To the author of this blog: thank you for the very important work of revealing the holy tradition of the Sacred Antioch to the rest of the world.