The other priests and rabbi watched her closely. They even sent spies into her solo lectures who pretended to be sincere, that they might take what she said and use it against her in accusations and court. One such spy asked her, “Teacher, we know you are honest and do not show favoritism, and honestly show the Divine in all you do. Is it good, according to what is written, to pay taxes as they worship a power structure and a false god of government?” Esperanza perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Pull out a dollar bill. Who’s picture is on it? What does it say on the back?” They said to her, “George Washington’s picture is on it. It says ‘In the Divine we trust’ on the back.” She then said, “Well, give Washington what is Washington’s, and give the Divine what is the Divine’s.” As this did not incriminate Esperanza, they were speechless and had to sit back down and marvel at what she had said.
Again, the spies came to her in one of her lectures. They asked, “Moses wrote many millennium ago that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man must take the wife and raise the children. Let’s say there were seven brothers. Let’s say the oldest marries this woman and dies before they have any children, and the same goes for each brother through all seven of them. After the last brother dies, the woman dies. If there is a resurrection to come, whose wife will she be? For she was married to all of them.” Esperanza said to them, “You make things too complicated for yourselves. This woman is not an object to which possession should be determined. Why not ask the woman who she’d rather be married to? They are all children of the Divine, and in that Kingdom what laws of this country would apply? The Divine Kingdom cannot compare with the countries of this world. That would be like asking if an apple’s skin is red, why are not oranges grown in New York.” The spies again were set back and could not answer to what she had said. They dared not ask any further questions.
She continued with her lecture. “Who do you think the Messiah is descended from? The ancestry of David? Didn’t David write:
The Divine said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand,
Till I make thy enemies
A stool for thy feet.
David called him Lord; so how is he a descendant?” She looked out over the crowd gathered, nobody could answer this. They stared in silence for a while. After a bit she continued, “Beware of those who think they have all the answers. They do all they can to be seen by others. They love the sound of their own voices. Their sermons are long and their vestments gaudy. They want to be called teacher, doctor, or reverend to be seen as better than everyone else. Call no one better than yourself. For there is only one who is better than you and that is the Divine. If someone wishes to be better than you, let him serve you. Whoever puffs himself up to be better than, will most certainly be humbled. Whoever is humble will be exalted. But woe to you teachers, doctors, and reverends for you shut the Kingdom of the Divine against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter go in. They will take from the poor and needy to offer up longer and more pained prayers to be seen for this “suffering”. They will receive greater condemnation. Woe to you, who would travel the world for one convert and you make them as much a child of hell as you are. Woe to you, for you value wealth above the Divine. You blind fools!”
“If there was a poor widow who came to your temples or churches and put twenty dollars into the offering. Where all the rich put in 10% of their income. I would honestly tell you that the widow has put in more than any of them. For they gave out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all the living she had. As for these things that you see around you grand speaking halls, massive stages with sound systems and professional lighting, parking structures for many vehicles, and even coffee houses in the lobby; one day none of this will be here for you. Listen, so that you are not led astray; many will come just like me claiming to speak for the Divine. They will say that they are the Messiah, and the ‘end is here! The Divine is here to judge the evil!’ Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and horrible things happening in the world, do not be terrified; people will do such things. Many will make you suffer for these things. If you are loving, kind, and accepting of your fellow-man people will call you weak and all manner of things for this message. They will accuse you and persecute you, saying you are not a true Jesuit. Endure. For the message is bigger than all of this.”
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