Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Wednesday word, 18 April 2007

2Easter Wednesday (18 Apr 2007) Ac 5. 17-26; Ps 34; Jn 3. 16-21
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.

When someone writes history--a family history; a personal history; a medical history; or a church history, as in the case of the evangelist Luke and his Acts of the Apostles: people move histories forward through the use of transitions.

A simple, personal example: I studied philosophy in Detroit, then I worked at a large city hospital. After that, I studied theology, moved back to Michigan, where I was ordained for the Archdiocese of Detroit. After serving it for several years, I realized Jesus was calling me to complete my priesthood in a religious order.

Then; after that; then moved; after serving
.... You get the idea. Transitions move a story forward, and transitions, turning points in our lives, move us forward. Transitions are the way Luke moved forward his portrait of the infant church.

Peter not only proclaimed the crucified and risen Messiah, he refuted opinions (e.g., that the disciples were drunk on wine at Pentecost). The number of those being baptized and filled with the Spirit steadily increased. Today we heard the apostles’ influence grew more prominent.

The captain and the court officers feared being stoned by the people. No throw-away line! That signaled a significant transition. Stoning punished blasphemy! The people were handing authority to the disciples above the temple-court officials. It was blasphemy to oppose them!

All this suggests a pattern of prayer for us. Invite Jesus to sit down with you during your day. Speak to Jesus about your transitions in your personal history. Notice which ones moved you toward Jesus, our Light, or away from him. Notice how those movements happened; then tell Jesus how you want to take refuge in him. That sort of praying is a wholesome transition.

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