A Different Gospel

by Nestor Ravilas
Jesus in the Book of Matthew underscores that it is impossible to enter the Kingdom of God apart from being righteous. He even qualifies it more by saying that it has to surpass the righteousness of the prominent religious leaders of his time – those who were culturally accorded with such pious signification. Some people might tend to pick other pertinent vocabulary within the economy of words of the gospel, but we could not do away with the word “righteousness” as it is inextricably associated with our entrance to eternal bliss. What does the word “righteousness” mean therefore is crucial in understanding the gospel.
The word came from the root word “right”.

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Happy are the Poor! A Deconstruction of a Gospel Riddle

povertyThis is oxymoron at its best. For neither could we find a happy person languishing in poverty nor a destitute man romping in complete jubilation.  Language like this is prevalent in religion: more absurd it is, more it is believable.  Otherwise there is no room for faith to practice.  And, as I made my point above, nothing is more absurd than a person that is poor and yet happy.

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The Narrative of Paul: Politics of Memory and the Subversion of Gospel Story

by Nestor Ravilas

paulI was in a classroom and challenged.  The teacher stood feisty waiting for more responses.  I was in a retreat mode; even John 1:1 was already offered to prove the divinity of Jesus, but to no avail.  Most of the first chapter of the Gospel of John is not part of the gospel story, the teacher insisted.  It was the author’s introduction of the gospel story which technically started in verse 19.  Thus it was alien to the sacred story which was entrusted and eventually become the guiding light of the emerging community inspired by the incessant retelling of this story.

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“Sell your possessions and give to the poor”: When Jesus Started Saying Non-sense

by Nestor Ravilas

Jesus is totally annoying at times.  He would suddenly burst on things out that would completely addle one’s mind.   No wonder that the Jesus of faith is gaining more popularity than the one who actually walked our planet.  Among his peeving gibberish is the demand to sell out one’s possessions and give to the poor.  What the hell was that?  It only confirms the rumor that he was miserably broken, not even owning a pillow to lay down his tousled head, thus having found the temerity to call for such renunciation. It looks more like a classic resentment of a poor man’s misery over the fruits of the hard works of wealthy people.

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