Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (José Antonio Pagola)

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Ahead of us

One day Jesus uttered these harsh words against the religious leaders of his people: “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you.”  A few years ago I was able to verify that Jesus’ statement is not an exaggeration.

A group of prostitutes from different countries, accompanied by some Oblate Sisters, reflected on Jesus with the help of the book, Jesus: An Historical Approximation.  I am still touched by the power and the attraction that Jesus has for these women of simple souls and good hearts.  I have saved some of their testimonies.

  • “I felt dirty, empty and so worthless, with everybody using me.  Now I want to keep living because God knows much about my suffering.  God is within me.  God is within me.  God is within me.  This Jesus understands me!”
  • “Now, when I get home after work, I wash myself with very hot water to scrub off my skin all filth, and then I pray to this Jesus because he does understand me and he knows all about my suffering. Jesus, I want to change my life, guide me because you alone know my future.
  • “I ask Jesus all day that I may leave this way of life.  Every time something happens to me, I call on him and he helps me.  He is near me, it is wonderful. He carries me in his hands, he supports me, I feel his presence.
  • “Early in the morning is when I most talk with him.  He hears me better because at this time people are sleeping. He is here, he does not sleep.  He is always here.  With my door closed, I kneel down and ask him to make me worthy of his help, to forgive me, and I tell him that I will fight for him.”
  • “One day I was resting in the plaza and I said: Oh my God, is this all I am good for?  Good for prostitution only? That is the time when I felt most God was carrying me, did you get me?  He was transforming me.  That was exactly the moment. So much so that I will never forget it.  Did you understand?
  • “Now I speak with Jesus and I tell him: here I am, be with me.  You saw what happened to my friend (she is referring to a friend who was killed in a hotel).  I pray for her and I ask that nothing bad may happen to my companions.  I do not say anything, but I pray for them because they are persons like me.”
  • “I am mad, sad, hurt, rejected, no one likes me, I do not know who to blame. Or what would be better, to hate other people and myself or to hate the world?  Look here, I have believed in You since my childhood and You let this happen to me. I give You another chance to protect me now.  Fine, I forgive You, but please do not leave me again.”

José Antonio Pagola

September 28, 2014
26 Ordinary Time (A)
Matthew 21, 28-32

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