From: "Adriana Shimabukuro" <adrishima@...> Date sent: Tue, 24 Feb 2004 21:26:16 +0000 "Blessed be you POOR, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you that HUNGER now, for you shall be filled... But woe unto you that are RICH! For you have received your consolation. Woe unto you that are FULL, for you shall hunger." - JESUS (Lk 6:20-25). Reflections on THE PASSION and Suffering -by Adriana Shimabukuro (Brazil). I´ve read up on Buddhism, and in the past I practiced transcendental meditation. Most people in there are trying to avoid sufferingat all costs. Buddha was someone who didn't suffer much in his life, in fact, the Hindus and Buddhists say a person with perfect health came from good reincarnations, so that the ones who suffer in this life are sinners and bad people. Buddha was also not poor. And the Hindus live even today in a "caste" system, in which the rich are seen as the most evolved spiritually, while the poor are bad and sinners. But why is Jesus the Savior and the true one? Because He came for the sinners and for the suffering. He came to show that we can be suffering and yet we are not worse than others for that. If you notice, the ones that loved Him most were the ones that were in great suffering and could see in Him a comfort to their pain. They didn´t feel alone anymore, because a man that was God´s son and so close to God was suffering too. When a person understands it, this person can start to love the suffering people, the sick, the poor. This person can go there and help these people in need. That is why there is no other religion apart from Christianity from which come people like Mother Teresa, who lived with the sick, the poor and helped them. All other religions have their sacred men in monasteries, isolated from any pain from the outside world. Many times they do not work for society, they beg or work only for themselves. The message of Buddha was not to save others and to live for others, it was to save yourself and only this! While Jesus said to live for others, to give our lives to others, to bear the suffering for others! I know that the reward we get from helping others is different from material pleasure. I know also that the Catholic church has got most of their monks and nuns living in isolation, sometimes like the Buddhist monks themselves. But still, through Jesus' example, one can understand it is to live like He did, to get out of isolation and to act. I received something while reflecting about the body of Christ. It was like flour being poured and that we are the flour. Jesus would be the water, or the milk or whatever sticks us together, for He told us to LOVE EACH OTHER AS HE LOVED US, to give our lives for each other. We have to gather and help each other. We have to help our brothers in need. This is what sticks us together and what makes the bread. We can make the bread grow if we do what He did. People want to see miracles and supernatural things to believe. But before the bread starts to grow, the flour needs to stick together to form the bread. I live in Brazil. I am in contact everyday with poor and sick people. They go through suffering you can't even imagine. And they still believe in Jesus. They say they are happy. They help each other. You don´t have to help each other only in war time; it must be done always. I know many of you do it. I am glad because my brother was healed by an American doctor in the USA. But when I see the competition and hunger for money, instead of Jesus and loving people, it scares me to see this change in the USA. Show them the real Jesus, for He came to make children pay attention to the weakest, the deaf, the lame, the sick ones. If you teach them to compete and that they have to be strong, they will not respect the weakest. They will not help them. They will not love them. How can they respect Jesus, who died, who was not the strongest in material ways? Who lived for the sick, the weakest? People here do not have too much money, but there is plenty of love. Many people I know seek charity projects to work in. That is because most of us know that our relatives came from poor origins. There are hard times for all, but we get together and we see people coming to help. People here seek for God in great intensity to bear suffering.