Friday, May 21, 2010

A Gospel of the Earth

This is one of my favorite gospels. Here are a few selections from it.

The beginning of the good news of Jesus of Nazareth, child of the earth, as it was written in the Torah, "Before a plant of the field was in the earth, before a grain of the field sprouted--Yahweh had not spilled rain on the earth, nor was there man to work the land--yet from the day Yahweh made earth and sky, a mist from within would rise to moisten the surface. Yahweh shaped an earthling from the clay of this earth, blew into its nostrils the wind of life. Now look: man becomes a creature of flesh."
John was a man of the wilderness; there he preached a reverence for the wild and untamed. He urged people, urban and rural, to give themselves over to the greater forces of life, to cleanse themselves and their environment of the poison of growth and development, to search out and live in their place given by God for the glory of all creation. People flocked to him from the large urban centers; but he warned them that it was the barrenness in their own environment that needed attention. "Do not come here to the wilderness expecting it to save you from the emptiness of that place where you live now. If you bring to the wilderness only need and an urge to possess , it will destroy you, not give you life." And he told them of the one to come. "I am a child of the wilderness," he said; "but he who comes after me is truly a child of the earth. I can show you how to live here; he can show you how to live on the whole earth."
Jesus of Nazareth came to John in the wilderness, seeking to be inspired by him, to be cleansed of the pollution of empire and theocracy and progress, to begin anew a life dedicated to giving back some of what he had received from his parents and from the village that had raised him. Almost at once the cleansing became in Jesus the work of God more so than of John. Indeed, it was God's spirit that led Jesus further into the wilderness than even John had been. There he prayed and fasted and fought the demons of domination and control; demons who were as strong there in the heart of the wilderness as they were in any seat of commerce or government.

They came soon to the town of Capernaum, where Jesus entered the synagogue, since it was the Sabbath. He stood up to read and they handed him the scroll of the Wisdom of Solomon. He unrolled it until he found where it was written:
Like all the others, I, too, am a mortal man,
descendant of the first being fashioned from the
I was modelled in flesh within my mother's womb
in a ten-month period--
body and blood, from the seed given
and the pleasure that accompanies marriage.
I, too, when I was born, inhaled the common air,
I fell on the same ground that bears us all;
wailing, I uttered the first sound, common to all.
I was nurtured in swaddling clothes, with
every care.
No king has known any other beginning of existence;
for all there is only one way into life,
just as there is one way out of it.

Jesus then rolled up the scroll and handed it back to the assistant and sat down. All in the synagogue had their eyes fixed on him.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, and welcome to the Catholic blog directory. I'd like to invite you to participate in Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival. We are a group of bloggers who gather weekly to share our best posts with each other. This week's host post is at