Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Wednesday word, 21 Mar 2007

4 Lenten Wednesday (21 Mar 2007) Is 49. 8-15; Ps 145; Jn 5. 17-30
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Greater Confidence

The reading from Isaiah is from the portion of the prophet’s book written to announce the liberation of Israel, of Zion, from their exile in Babylon. Some of its language is familiar to us because Jesus used it about his own ministry.

In this and the rest of Isaiah the prophet uses creation language to express the heart of the creator: God will pasture the people; God will cut a road through all my mountains and make my highways level in order that God’s people may return to their land and so that all people might turn and find God, too.

Yet Israel found that too amazing: “The LORD has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.” The prophet makes known God’s heart: I will never forget you.

Jesus told his hearers that some things amazed, however, one thing ought not amaze: Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. That indeed is a marvel, and it escapes human reason--true enough. We call it an act of faith.

Jesus meant not to be perplexed and disturbed by that marvel. Like the daily rising of the sun or the laughter of children or removing a golden loaf of bread from an oven causes us to marvel, none of those perplex us or disturb our spirits. Indeed, they have the opposite effect.

Jesus’ dying and rising point to Jesus and his unique relationship with his heavenly Father. Faith in Jesus points us to his heavenly Father at work in us in life-giving ways. Observing Lent makes us more alert and more confident in the ways the Trinity recreates us in each moment.
Wiki photo is in the public domain.

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