Monday, April 9, 2007

An Easter Wish

Pascua de Resurrección, the Feast of the Resurrection, man's triumph over death and the forces of evil, achieved through Christ's death and the temporal triumph of those forces, is one of those eternal mysteries of the faith, better believed than understood. Therein lies perhaps the greatest achievement of Catholic cosmology: the belief that those who are murdered for their faith, Christ Himself or his apostles in all ages, are the real winners and those who nailed them to crosses, kindled their pyres, frayed and stoned them are the losers. The Catholic Church is the church of martyrs, martyrdom itself being the highest expression of the faith. Defeat as victory; death as life; earthly injustice as the prelude to Divine Providence.

For the last 48 years no people no earth have suffered a greater martyrdom than the people of Cuba. Indeed, throughout our history, the just among us in all generations have fallen prey to the forces of darkness, including our own secular Christ, José Martí, who said that he would be nailed to a cross if it won our people their (earthly) freedom.

So why, if no people have paid a greater price in blood and suffering, have the Cuban people remained in slavery for 5 decades, with no end in sight to their travails? Is this some sign of divine grace? Are we the new Israelites, God's chosen people, chosen, like the Jews, to endure hecatombs and holocausts in time immemorial because we are especially favored by the Father? I hope not. And that is my Easter wish.


Charlie Bravo said...

Manuel, we have been long called the Jews of the Caribbean, for some reason....

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


People have called us the "Jews of the Caribbean" for many reasons and with different intentions. We are certainly great wanderers like the historical Jews. This is one comparison, I think, everybody can agree with.

We have also been successful in every country where we have put up our tents, and been always resented and sometimes even hated for it.

We tend to prefer our own like the Jews and congregate with our own, as the Jews used to do in their ghettos here and in the Old World. We do not do so from necessity or compulsion, as the Jews sometimes did. But, for whatever reason, our inclusiveness has preserved us a people in our own diaspora, too.