Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tuesday word, 10 Jul 2007

14th Tuesday of the Year (10 Jul 2007) Gn 32. 22-33; Ps 17; Mt 9. 32-38
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Divine Need

Jacob, grandson of Abraham, received the name Israel. The people, Israel, became identified with one man and his struggle. The people Israel see their varied struggles through the ages in Jacob. Or better, the story of Jacob’s struggle with God reminds them--and us--to be alert for God’s presence in every struggle.

One struggle percolating within us 21st-century people may be phrased as a question: how can this and other bible episodes so removed from our time and experience fit with our structures and ways of living?

The answer is "interpreting," which is a struggle not to produce something, but to have a felt knowledge of the ways God is active in individual lives and within the world.

Jesus’ instructions to his disciples called them to pray the Lord of all things first before entering the harvest to proclaim the kingdom, to teach, to exorcise, to heal--Jesus’ own work. We may not think that God needs anything, but Jesus demonstrated by sending his disciples that God needs us to care lovingly and to announce the kingdom by our words and deeds.

Our compassion traces back to Jesus’ compassion andto his Father’s compassion. We struggle at times to trace those connections. Single bible-lines are not as helpful as the dramatic movement of entire scenes. And more, placing ourselves in the scenes and noticing what impulses they trigger in us leads us to continue the work Jesus needs us to do in his name.

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