I don’t know in what trunk, in what sinister ark, we keep the values of the Kingdom that break into the world with the life of Jesus. It is possible that some of these values are known, that the church remembers some of them from time to time, that we know the expression Kingdom values or, in general, biblical values, but in many cases we see them as theory and, without a doubt, , knowing that they are biblical, if they name them for us, we could agree. The great challenge would be to assume the experience of these values to put them into practice as part of our Christian spirituality.. Those values are never mere theory. Many times we even forget them. We have to break that sinister ark where we lock up these values to which, in so many cases, we turn our backs.
In what trunk do we keep them, in what sinister ark do we put them, in what empty memory have we locked them up so that there is no memory of them? Many last will be first, the weakest and least equipped and prepared workers, those hired at the last minute by the mercy of the master, will be paid first and with the same salary as those who were from the first hour, do not give or lend to those who can return it to you, because that is what the unbelievers do, at the banquet of the kingdom there may be many poor, outcast, underprivileged, disabled, many of those despised by those integrated into society, even prostitutes may go before us in the Kingdom of heaven, do not seek the first places, the first rows, accept the value of humility and that of considering the other as superior to myself.
The one who says “I don’t want to” despising the father, causing a scandal that condemns, can repent and be the one who does his will. Not everyone who says Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but the one who does, the one who acts. The prodigal son can return and a party will be held in his honor even though others criticize him, the Pharisee who makes long prayers can be condemned, because they practice the prayer of contempt. It ignores a fundamental value of Jesus that says that the life of man does not consist in the abundance of goods that he possesses, that we do not store, that his eagerness is enough for each day… and so many and many others.
In what trunk, in what sinister ark, in what chest, in what mental niche do we have these values that we neither think about nor practice even knowing them? Why, if we know them and have heard and read texts that proclaim these values, are they so far from our daily practice and assessment? Why don’t we integrate them into the experience of our Christian spirituality? The Christian life does not consist in knowing these values as a doctrine that is stored in our brain, but in assuming them as values that must be put into practice in the world, realizing them, making them life, that Christians know each other because they live them, realize them, they practice them, evangelizing cultures and making their neighbor a loved being in the likeness of God himself.
It is sad to see with what inconsistency many of the so-called Christians live these values. Sometimes it could be that they live more strongly from humanisms that could even be atheists, since there are simply humanitarian actions and companies that seek to restore stolen dignity. We have to break those trunks, those sealed and closed chests, those dark coffers as if they were never going to open, we have to break those niches in which fundamental values are buried and that must be lived facing others, setting an example of be followers of the Master. Let’s not be inconsistent with what we say we believe, but that, deep down, we are not living, we are not practicing.
We do not deny those values, but we do not live them. We do not apply them even if we have to silence our consciences so that they do not question us. The church does not do enough to promote these values, to form followers of Jesus who impregnate their lives, their actions, their achievements and their services or jobs with the essence of these values that are transmitted with the irruption of Jesus into the world to teach us, to give us an example. Perhaps because the church has not understood in depth the imperative of love of neighbor that Jesus left us and we live in search of a disembodied spirituality, while Jesus gives us the example of his incarnation in the midst of a world of pain and sin to be a outstretched hand to the weakest, declassed and outcasts of humanity.
Many times we spend time and time talking about values that relate us to the beyond, to the metahistory, when we are forgetting something that for Jesus was important and urgent: the values of the Kingdom that is already among us and that we must work for its realization in the worldin our here and our now, in our history that we have had to live.
May the Lord help us to know how to impregnate the structures of power, sin, unjust economic structures and, in general, the entire culture, society and economy, with that sweet smell that is for the Lord the putting into practice of these Kingdom Values, of these biblical values in general. The other is cowardice, comfortable lives resting on dead faith.