Monday, February 19, 2007

Monday word, 19 Feb 2007

7th Monday of the Year (19 Feb 2007) Sir 1.1-10; Ps 93; Mk 9. 14-29
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Taught By Our Senses

The creation and the exodus are the two central features of the scriptures. Not only does Genesis narrate in language of deep cultural and spiritual significance that God created the world, the Psalms and books like Sirach rhapsodize about it: the Lord made the world firm, it is the Lord’s throne. Before all else...[the] one, wise and truly awe-inspiring...Most High all-powerful creator-king and truly awe-inspiring one... created...wisdom.

The liberation God worked in the exodus from Egypt created and formed a people. The Psalms extol the exodus, also, in places too numerous to mention in a single homily. Sirach sang that the Holy One lavished godly wisdom on the Holy One’s friends.

Mark’s Jesus, the crucified Messiah, personified the truly awe-inspiring one. Matthew’s Jesus was the New Wisdom, the New Creation, whose spirit recreates us and the face of the earth.

Luke’s Jesus spoke of his final journey to Jerusalem as his personal exodus. John’s Jesus was new paschal Lamb. Plural portraits of Jesus offer us several ways of appreciating the creative and liberating power of our God.

Our Catholic, sacramental way of life allows our limited senses to appreciate the mystery of Jesus in partial, but crucial ways, which teach our minds.

We die and rise with Christ in baptism’s waters. Confirmation seals our baptism with fragrant oil named for our Messiah: chrism is Greek for messiah, anointed one. We are not Messiahs, but we are christians christened to make Christ present by our lives.

Eucharist, the new passover, is the new covenant, which sustains our new baptismal creations in Jesus’ dying and rising. Sacraments help us overcome forces that would leave us as dead. They are Jesus’ outstretched hand raising us, helping us to stand and live anew.
Creation of Light, by Gustave Doré, is in the public domain.

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