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The King

The son of the king is getting married with the most beautiful girl in the country. The father is beside himself with bliss. The wedding will be something grandiose. The king himself prepares with great care a lavish banquet at which he has the joy of inviting all the rich and powerful in the kingdom with their families and their friends.

The «rich and powerful in the kingdom» are like brothers to the king.    They are people of merit who have won wars for the kingdom. To reward them, the king has bestowed them with glorious titles and has given them huge estates. Moreover, he has entrusted them with the most prestigious positions of his government.

Yet, those high dignitaries were not in the mood to celebrate. Of course, they think highly of the king who has always protected their interests, but they hate his son.

It is because that son, the same one who is getting married to the most beautiful girl in the country, is a young greenhorn without experience, a dreamer who believes that he is entitled to tell his elders what to do.

That son claims that the people are gasping for air in the kingdom and that sweeping changes are necessary.  According to him, old traditions must be shaken, the laws be relaxed, the structures be rejuvenated, bring things up to date, give to everyone the opportunity to grow and to blossom. There is a need to open up, change mentalities, see things differently, and not to be afraid of novelty, start everything anew if necessary so that the people can breathe and gather momentum.

This kind of talk deeply angers the noble lords. Deeming themselves as the fathers, he protectors and the benefactors of the motherland, they only see into that an insult to their high dignity and to their rights.

They will not go to the wedding. They will boycott it. Coming up with all kinds of excuses, they pass on the message to the king that they regret to have to inform him that they will not be part of the celebration.

For the king, this is a severe blow, but still he takes it. He knows to what extent the noble lords attached great value to their power. On several occasions he had requested them and even begged them to seriously think about conducting fundamental changes, since the kingdom was falling apart everywhere. But each time, it was like talking to a brick wall.

Only the son had understood.

« Since the people in high places are not interested in my banquet », declared the king, « I will invite the little ones». Immediately, messengers are sent to the four corners of the kingdom to announce to the ordinary people and, in particular, to all those who possess nothing that they are strongly welcome to the big banquet.

In a short time, the large function rooms of the palace are bursting with a colorful crowd up to the gardens where pile together «bad and good alike», (all the poor, points out Luke in 14:21-23). They eat, they have fun. The king is delighted.

And then, suddenly, the king rises and, with generosity, announces that he bestows upon his beloved son a mission that will demand much courage and a lot of wisdom. That mission of the highest importance will consist in promoting in the kingdom all the necessary changes, even the most daring ones, so that each individual in the country may finally experience the joy of living a truly free, healthy and human life.

The son

The son welcomes that mission with enthusiasm and great gratitude and, without losing any time, proclaims a series of good news that sends into raptures the listeners.

- «Since this is the will of my father, I have the pleasure of announcing to you that beginning today nobody owes nothing to anyone. All debts are remitted. The properties that were confiscated in the past now return to their owner. »
- «Slavery in all its forms is abolished forever. »
- «There will be no more talk about war, vengeance or violence since all of that ends now. »
- «Today we also put an end to literal religion, to the austerity, the fear and to all the excessive regulations which, instead of honoring God, make him obnoxious. »
- «From now on, power will not be concentrated only in the hands of the king. The king will be king only by totally dedicating himself to the service of the people so that it grows and takes into its hands its own destiny. »
- «In truth, be happy, you the poor, because today your poverty vanishes like the morning fog at sunrise. »
- «Be happy all of you who are hungry and thirsty for justice because you will immediately be fully satisfied. »
- «Yes, be happy, because by committing ourselves to build our society on the rock of respect, truth and freedom, and by making of compassion, solidarity and justice our standard, we inaugurate in these days the great era of Peace. »
- «Doubts, jeering, persecutions and crosses will not be spared, but that does not frighten us since our adventure is that of the prophets. »
- «Finally, let us rejoice because the Kingdom of God has begun!»

Joy is at its height. Applause pour, ovations are non-stop. There is no end to toasting the king, his son and God. Eternal loyalty is pledged to them. Solemn commitment is made to take that marvelous path which has just been inaugurated.

That day, a new alliance was sealed for eternity between the people, the king, his son and God.

The snake

Meanwhile, a somber character has entered the palace by the back door and crept like a snake among the crowd. He tries to go unnoticed, but his strange black outfit betrays him. He casts a dirty look all around like a shifty spy sent by the «great lords»...He looks more nervous than a fish that would have fallen in a mud hole. He does not touch any food, does not speak to anyone, nor succeed in believing what his eyes are seeing.

With horror he sees a king who has let enter his house a bunch of people where are found pell-mell «bad and good alike». « That king has lost his head! » he thinks. And then, there is that speech of the son. Each of his words rings in his ears like an insult and a real declaration of war against the « great lords. »

« That son must die! » he says to himself. This minute, he chokes and drops dead.

Many people of the same kind than that somber character have never accepted that the Gospel be a Joyful News for everybody. They do not accede to the Kingdom for which Jesus gives his life, and they seal off  as much as they can those who wish to enter it (Matt. 23:14).

Those people ended by shutting again the windows of the Church that the Holy Spirit had so much trouble to open during the Vatican II council. They have turned the Church in on itself and have succeeded in emptying it of three-quarter of its resources.

To ruin one's life and poison that of the whole world, there is nothing worse than the fears, the complexes, the prejudices, the fanaticisms, the beliefs sunk in cement and paranoia raised to the status of virtue. Nothing worse than the class interests and those somber visions of the future that basically attempt to perpetuate the past.

While the guards in service discretely dispose of the corpse of the somber character, the celebration is in full swing for the greater joy of the king, of his son and of all those nice people who came to the wedding.

The bride

In fact, who is really the superb girl whom the son of the king married?

Some say that it is Utopia, others believe that it is Madness. In fact, it is Wisdom, the wisdom itself of God, which penetrates Creation to reach its roots and subtly bring it to its full realization.

Wisdom has a power which surpasses that of light, water and wind. She is not a dream nor a fantasy. She is herself source of the Reality. It is her that makes flowers grow and forests extend, that makes the Moon turn around the Earth and the Earth around the Sun. And even if she is the opposite itself of magic, she can bring down mountains and rise the dead. It is her that awakens so gently in the human being the sources of life still dormant that could, some day, able him to touch the stars.

It is her whom the son of the king married. It is her who inspired him all the words of his mouth.

The end

We know what comes next...

The son was killed...And Wisdom was rejected,

By whom?

Certainly not by the «bad» who had come running to the wedding and had been thrilled by hearing the words of the son, but by the «good» who had boycotted the celebration.

Will this story, one day, have a happier end?...

Eloy Roy

Translated from the French by Jacques Bourdages

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