Sunday, 11 December 2011

Jesus, Scavenger and Saviour

Jesus na BasureroswI Always feel happy and blessed whenever I think of so many beautiful names that are giving to Jesus. I even feel very proud knowing that I have a Jesus the Saviour, the Alpha and the Omega, the Liberator, the Changer of hard moments, the Controller of the Universe, the Unmovable mover, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Redeemer, the Amen and Amen. In fact, his names are as many as there are sands by the river side. 
But it seems that these names are never sufficient, in another words are not convincing. How can a slave understand the name "Jesus the liberator" when his liberty and freedom do not depend on him? How can the sick understand that Jesus is a healer if he is not made to understand so? How can a hunger understand that Jesus feeds the hunger without someone acting in Jesus name? How can a little boy who have lost the parents and relatives in the war understand that Jesus is the prince of peace without him knowing, in the first instance, what the word peace mean? How can we make people understand whom Jesus is without helping them to know the sense of their life? There are still many reasons why God still remain far from humanity, why the name God sounds like a myth to people of our generation and why the story of Jesus remains a fable to many today.
imagesAnd despite that the number of Churches and places of worship continue growing every day; the number of preachers continue to increase every second of the day. Unfortunately, there are today too many preachers of the word and less doers of it. How many of us are ready to bring Jesus, practically, to the poor? How many are ready to vest the naked Jesus we meet on our streets, to feed the hungry Jesus that die in millions every day? How many are ready to help the poor Jesus that have no access to quality education, water and health facilities? There are too many poor begging Jesus’ today, how many are ready to help them? How many are ready to give water, encouragement, hope, liberty, freedom, justice to so many Jesus' that are victims of our capitalist society?
images dJesus is not only in heaven, he is in our society, in our streets, in our villages, in our churches, in our hospitals! Let's remove our masks and meet him as he passes everyday crying, dying, lamenting, oppressed, abandoned, threatened to death, forsaken, sick, enslaved, maltreated, just name it. Jesus is a Scavenger, he is wheel barrow pusher, he is an Okada man, he is a truck pusher, he is a migrant, he is that your poor neighbour, that sick in your quarter, that abandoned child that we think is always disturbing us every day asking for help, he is that made in your house that have no right as a person, he is that victim of injustice in our society.
images 2The best image of Jesus I have come to know so far is that of "Jesus, the Scavenger and Saviour". An image of the lord who portrays the very reality of poor scavengers of the Smokey Mountain in Philippines. Here is a good explanation of this heart wrecking image of God.
It might seem sacrilegious to call Jesus a scavenger or garbage-picker, but this is what the parishioners of Smokey Mountain call him. Years ago someone replaced the shepherd's staff from Jesus' right hand with a ʽkalahigʼ, which is the sharpened metal hook the scavengers use to stab recyclable materials. Then he added a garbage sack, made of plaster, in his left hand. Thus the statue was transformed to look like the many scavengers of the garbage dump. Now Jesus was someone they could relate to more closely. He was truly one of them.
leeboywhookswProbably there is no statue like this in the entire world. This is a statue made through the simple but powerful faith of a dirty and smelly scavenger crying out to his Saviour. This is also a statue that has a wonderful message. Isnʼt it true that Jesus is a scavenger? The scavengers go into Smokey Mountain each day to pick up salvageable materials and return them to good use for recycling. Doesnʼt Jesus also go out into the world to pick up and save those of us who have been thrown away or abandoned by society? Then supported by Him, we can be ʽrecycledʼ and become of good use again to those around us.
O Jesus the Scavenger, save us!!!
The pictures show (the 1st picture) the statue of Jesus the Scavenger which is kept in our parish church. The other picture is of Lee-boy (the last picture) holding his kalahig or scavenger's hook  and his garbage sack just like his Saviour[1]”.


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