Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tuesday word, 05 Dec 2006

1st Advent Tuesday (05 Dec 2006) Isaiah 11.1-10; Ps 72; Lk 10. 21-24
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Under the Influence

That phrase doubtlessly evokes human activity in the sway of liquid spirits. That phrase also helps us appreciate Jesus’ joy from which he spoke those familiar words. Jesus spoke under the “influence of the Holy Spirit,” that is, he was not making up something.

If we review our lives, we can recognize moments when words that fell from our lips, even responses to questions or to situations, we best classify as inspired: they came from our mouths, formed by our voices, yet someone else was at work with us, too.

Our gospel recalls Jesus' joyful blessing: In the Spirit Jesus twice mentioned his Father so that all who overhear can appreciate better his relationship as Son to his Father.

Jesus also did something easy to miss: he turn[ed] to his disciples in private. The midsection of Luke’s gospel revolves around Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem and the formation of a people--the New Israel, the church--along the way. Jesus’ turnings allow us to see different audiences and their attitudes to Jesus.

These turnings allow Jesus to bless others as well as reveal his intimate relationship with his Father. Blessed are the eyes that see what you see...[and your ears] to hear what you hear. Part of actively anticipating Jesus’ return in glory we live, as our forbears did, by what we see, hear and receive as gracious gifts of the Trinity in all sorts of ways.

Our parish service day last Saturday is a good example. While people gave of themselves and expended effort they did not merely work. Under the influence of the Spirit, what they did blessed those who benefited from their service. The Spirit also bound us more closely to Jesus and to his Father in ways that words cannot hope to capture. It was a way Jesus turned to us, a way for us to seek him, in Isaiah’s word. That is not for Advent only but for every day.

Photo by Radio Tonreg

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