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The violence of injustice – The cross

By "teaching" the word of God in the synagogues, Jesus did not hesitate to shake his hearing and force him to question himself. We have proof of this with this warning to keep the writers on their guard, not to imitate them. Jesus tried not to reassure his contemporaries, to let them fall asleep as a guru, to satisfy his ego. On the contrary. He also paid expensive. Jesus provokes us too. But with what purpose?

First question: how can we not recognize ourselves in these scribes who only gave what their savings and therefore their welfare did not threaten? Precaution principle? Do not we avoid taking risks in the face of uncertainties of the future? As for the rich man (Mark 10: 17-27), money is sometimes used to protect oneself against others, to protect oneself against the unknown and the danger of the future, and to insure against want.

The second question: how can one not understand that by questioning the writers with their ceremonial clothing, their quest for honor and privilege, Jesus also questioned a mode of social organization, that is to say a system who crushed the weakest for the benefit of the rich? A revolutionary logic?

When he later overthrew the tables of the merchants of the Temple (Mt 11: 15-19), Jesus attacked a policy of the city that found a justification for appropriating religion, that is, say God. Are we not tempted to sometimes turn a blind eye to policies that favor us at the expense of others? For example, who currently have a tendency to limit stricter immigration to the borders, immigration that is still in its infancy, particularly as a result of climate change? The rise of populism in the world, in favor of a strong policy against immigration, in favor of the coming of power of equally strong men, goes in this direction.

In fact, the origin of verbal violence of Jesus (the scribes "Devour" the property of widows) finds its origin in another violence, that of injustice, the violence experienced by the widow he takes as an example, the violence of poverty. In anger that was barely limited, Jesus only diverted this violence to make his hearers aware of a situation they were not necessarily aware of, to let them react and to put an end to the injustice that they might be spectators, perpetrators or passive accomplices.

Jesus, not being afraid of a certain violence – this belongs to life – delivered a positive message that it is a matter of hearing: there are no dead, man can change the world by changing his attitude towards him, it is him to respond. But when describing a scene that is even more violent in what it has revealed scandalously, in an accusation against vanity, greed and hypocrisy of the scribes, Jesus delivered a message of hope. The poor widow has put "Everything she had, everything she had to live" in the trunk for the arms. For Jesus, true worship was not the "Long prayers"but the gift. For it is in the gift that the relationship exists to the other, and therefore the relationship with God. The place of God is not the temple, but the man. The poor widow had nothing to lose since she had given everything. But she was rich in her humanity. She had nothing to defend, nothing separated her from the others; she was close to everyone.

In the form of a warning, Jesus calls us to be His disciples in our XXI worlde century – on our village planet – not by speeches and prayers, but, unlike the scribes, by the gift as the political commitment, trade union or associative. Sharing wealth is one of the biggest challenges of living together tomorrow.

Daniel Duigou