Israeli Values Religious Voices

Letter 53 - Fr. José Enrique de Castro Manglano

To the State of Israel and all its inhabitants,

Last Sunday, I was in the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth when a woman came to me and almost shouted that she lived a miracle. Her name is D. J., and from what I understood, she was clinically dead but came back to life. The accident left apparent signs such as scars on her head and permanent partial paralysis, but it could not wipe her smile. I do not know any more details about that woman or how that miracle made her a preacher of God's graces as I could read on her business card, together with her phone number and this sentence: Jesus is faithful.

 This virtue reminded me of an anecdote from Rabbi Samson R. Hirsch. At the end of his life, surrounded by his disciples, he considered Deuteronomy 32:4: “A faithful God who does no wrong”. Savoring these words, he said: “This is the quintessence of the Torah. You could ask: if this is so, why the whole Torah? It would be enough for God in the Sinai to give us just this verse! The answer is: No one can comprehend this verse without learning and practicing the whole Torah first”.

 God is faithful to his promises. How many times have we also experienced that God is good and blesses us so abundantly… as in the life of that woman I met. I contemplate in this country how the vast majority, each one living his faith and traditions, seeks to imitate that faithful God being trustworthy to others. I have experienced the faithful love of so many friends from all religions. And I know many are loyal to their country, culture, family, and friends. That fidelity is a priceless treasure. But that fidelity should lead us to be good as God is good, to do no wrong, most definitely not for the sake of faithfulness to God. How is it possible to be faithful to God and not be good like him? I am not saying that it is easy. But it may well be the goal that unites us, going beyond and embracing all differences. Only by being faithful to the only one God can we become one and live in peace.


Fr. José Enrique de Castro Manglano

Father José Enrique de Castro Manglano is a Catholic priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei in Jerusalem.

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