Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Wednesday word

Korean martyrs Andrew Kim Taegon, et al. (20Sep2006) 1Co 12.31-13.13; Ps33; Lk 7.29-35
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Christian Maturity

Reacting to the great prophet Jesus, whom God raised up in the midst of people was similar to people’s reaction to the prophet John: all the people and the tax-agents had heard and justified God by being baptized with John’s baptism. But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s plan for them by not being baptized by [John].

The point Jesus made with his vivid image of some piping and others not dancing, some singing a dirge and others not weeping is that whatever style a prophet adopts, complaint will always follow. In contrast to all the people and tax-agents who were aware of their own sins, shortcomings and need for healing, the religious professionals noted John’s ascetic style and wrote him off as demon-possessed. Jesus’ different style the same group maligned as sinful in variety of ways. The religious professionals even claimed to know others’ sins!

God sends us prophets, and God sustains them in order to show us the more excellent way of conversion from what makes us enemies of patient love.

Many are quick to consider christian living childish. It is not. Living lives marked by faith and hope crowned by love is most mature. Christian maturity is reluctant to look at others’ sins. Christian maturity, the more excellent way which we profess, looks at what prevents our growth and maturity in Christ and in the body of the church. The body and blood of Christ is given to us, in the words of St. Andrew Kim, the first Korean priest and pastor, “in order that we will grow and reach maturity. . .in the grace of God.”1 Graced maturity leads us not to yell and bicker but to stand united with all who suffer and with those who experience conversion of mind and heart.

1. Andrew Kim Taegon, his final exhortation, in today’s Office of Readings, The Liturgy of the Hours.

No comments: