The reality of the Manifestations of God is one of the recurrent themes in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s talks to the West. After reading His talk of June 23rd, I remembered several conversations I had regarding this topic, and how often I heard Muhammad or Jesus Christ described as “just a man”, or delegated to the same level as Socrates, Confucius, or simply described as men who were able to gather followers. If we reflect on the words of the Master and on His wisdom, we can learn to recognize that the Manifestations of God, through the power of the spirit, were able to transform the hearts of men — something that a mere man could never achieve.
I was deeply touched by His example of the lasting influence of these Luminary beings: “The church bells are pealing in memory of Jesus Christ although more than nineteen hundred years have passed since He lived upon the earth. This is through the power of the spirit. No material power could do this”. This power urges us to “hear with attentive ear the call of the spiritual world, seeking first the Kingdom of God and its perfections. This is eternal life; this is everlasting remembrance”.
Furthermore the Master brings to our attention how Jesus Christ “established the religion of God through love”, as did each one of the Manifestations of God. He describes how love is the “divine power”, and that this power was able to overthrow and conquer all the kings of the earth.
He then reminds us of the tablet that Bahá’u’lláh addressed to the kings and rulers in which He urged them to turn theirs faces towards God, to accept His message and to fulfill their obligations by ruling with the justice conferred to them by God. He also warned them of the consequences if they did not follow His counsel, which none of them did, and one by one, each one of their kingdoms fell into ashes.
I wonder sometimes how our world would be if these rulers had grasped the opportunity that was offered to them and accepted the Message for this Day. Unfortunately this was not the case, and now these obligations have been transferred to our generation. Just as the Master asked His audience a hundred years ago, we too need to turn our faces to the “Sun of reality” and find the answers to our questions in our hearts, as “until the soil is prepared, it cannot receive the benefit of planting”.