Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wednesday word

27th Wednesday B (11 Oct 2006) Gal 2. 11-2,7-14; Ps 117; Lk 11. 1-4
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Right Road to Compassion

We believe in the Trinity and that we share in their everlasting life beginning now. While the Trinity is everlasting, humans are limited by space and time. One effect of that fact is this: while the Trinity is continually everlasting, the ways Christians live their relationship to the Trinity are not; they vary according to time, place and experience.

This is what St. Paul tells us in the Letter to the Galatians. The first to experience the risen Jesus were Jews like Jesus. The first Christians remembered Jesus’ words, “Go...baptize all nations,” which we echoed in our responsorial psalm, Go out to all the world and tell the Good News. How to do that?

Initially those first Christians, Jews themselves, did what they and what Jesus had done: they practiced the ways of Judaism though newly empowered by Jesus’ Holy Spirit. Because they did what they knew, they evangelized other Jews, and they ushered pagans to Christ through the ways of Judaism.

Jesus chose St. Paul, a Jew, to take the gospel to the nations. St. Paul knew in and by Jesus’ Spirit that becoming Jewish was not on the right road in line with the truth of the Gospel.

Concern for the poor, relying on God, the creator and lord of all, who is in control of all events, and making the pattern of our lives the pattern of Jesus’ life has roots in Judaism and also exceeds it.

The Jewish prayer, which sanctified God’s name and prayed that God’s dominion would come in one’s lifetime*, Jesus echoed in the prayer he gave his disciples in every age.

What Jesus prayed he gave to his disciples at their request. Our Lord’s Prayer demonstrates the deep relationship Jesus had with his Father. Whether one’s relationship has been solid or whether one has allowed relationship with God to grow tepid, we can always deepen our relationship with Jesus’ Father. The deeper it is, the deeper our compassion for others grows.

* the kaddish begins: “May His great Name grow exalted and sanctified in the world that He created as He willed. May He give reign to His kingship in your lifetimes and in your days...”

This prayer sanctifying God’s name has become the mourners’ prayer for the deceased. Listen to the complete prayer in Hebrew at

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