The Apparition of the Messiah / Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov / Wikimedia Commons
Why can’t I retreat into a mountain
and enjoy the rest of my life, sipping wine,
looking at the moon and making haiku
like the one “enlightened”?
However hard and long I may raise
my insignificant voice of anger,
I know I cannot stop this stream;
but I cannot give up.
Those who attained perfect enlightenment
yell at me from this world and the other,
“Hey! You have been a Christian for a
long time. How come you are not awakened yet!”
I do not want to attain enlightenment in the Buddhist sense.
My enlightenment is to follow Christ and go into the world.
I do not want to separate myself from the world.
And in the face of mounting injustice and misery,
I would like to live with those suffering people,
because Christ lives with them.
I often get lost, get angry, worry and make cries of protest,
but Christ is with me and soothes me.
Yorifumi Yaguchi, Japanese Mennonite poet and pastor
Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said,
“God blesses you who are poor,
for the Kingdom of God is yours.
God blesses you who are hungry now,
for you will be satisfied.
God blesses you who weep now,
for in due time you will laugh.
What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man.”