Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tuesday word

25th Tuesday of the Year B (19 Sep 2006) 1Co 12. 12-14,27-31a; Ps 100; Lk 7. 11-17
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Challenging Grace

Two married people united in marriage strive to make one life together. Does doing that erase the uniqueness of each spouse? Not at all! We Jesuits strive to make real for us all our “close sharing of life and goods [and what makes that possible] is the eucharist at...the center [of our common life].”1 Does our common life erase our distinctions as individuals? Not at all.

Two examples from daily living that union and unity are not uniformity. Our union in Christ, begun in baptism and sustained in the Eucharist, flowers in people differently. St. Paul listed offices in the church and gifts given to people to build up the church: first, Apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then, mighty deeds; then gifts of healing, assistance, administration, and varieties of [speaking in] tongues.

Down through the ages God has visited his people in many and various ways and sent many and various prophets.

In the fullness of time God sent his son Jesus: the apostle--the title means one sent by another; the great prophet raised up for us, who worked wonders.

Jesus works through us by the power of his spirit. Baptism has made us sharers in his royal, priestly and prophetic ministries. How we exercise those christian ministries of ours changes as circumstances change. For example, young parents exercise parenthood differently from parents of grown children. Each is no less a parent.

Similarly, the ways we live in the world as ambassadors of our Messiah Jesus call on us to exercise our gifts of faith, hope and love differently, never in wooden ways but in ways compassionate and merciful. Compassion is a challenge, and we receive it daily from our Messiah Jesus. Because we receive it daily from our Messiah Jesus, his challenge graces us to make our own the pattern of his life.

1. Complementary Norm 315, The Constitutions of the Society of Jesus and Their Complementary Norms, St. Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1996.

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