Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wednesday word, 30 May 2007

8th Wednesday of the Year (30 May 2007) Sir 36.1, 4-5a, 10-17; Ps 79; Mk 10. 32-45
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
By Habit

Give new signs and work new wonders was Jesus ben Sirach’s appeal to God. Wasn’t Jesus of Nazareth the complete response to it? Didn’t the evangelists, especially Luke and Mark, repeatedly note that Jesus worked signs and wonders? Jesus amazed his disciples, and others were filled with a holy fear at what Jesus did.

We, who know the end of the story of Jesus, who know what his disciples and others did not,
often risk losing being amazed at what we do here and at how Jesus works in the daily events of our world by his Holy Spirit.

Do we ask for the grace to be amazed at our risen Messiah? Do we ask to be filled with a holy fear, with awe, as reverence for God is called? Who do we ask? Jesus’ Spirit. The confirmation prayer asked that in addition to “wisdom and understanding...right judgment and courage...and knowledge," that we receive reverence...wonder and awe” at God’s works./1/

Confirmation sealed our baptism. That initiation into the church is constant even though those sacraments are never repeated. We renew our promises frequently. We summarize baptism each time we sign ourselves with holy water. We spend our lives not only engaging Jesus but also the consequences of being united to him.

Jesus saw the initial event of his baptism, his way of life, fulfilled in his martyrdom. Before he gave witness by his death, Jesus witnessed by his life: he modeled life for his disciples in each age: “I came to serve and to give [my] life as a ransom for many.”

Becoming a better Christian, that is, a closer companion of Jesus, means giving witness by our ways of life more out of habit, even without thinking. Keeping amazed at the daily new signs and new wonders the Trinity works in our midst helps us succeed at our baptismal habit more often.
/1/ Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, 234, The same prayer is used when Confirmation is celebrated with young, people
already baptized.
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