Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tuesday word, 11 Sep 2007

23d Tuesday (11 Sep 2007) Col 2.6-15; Ps 145; Lk 6. 12-19
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Misunderstanding To Relationship

I was in college with man who remains a beloved priest and a good pastor. He’s a person who can get away with saying anything--and does. He jests, he’s not vicious. I think we all know people in our lives like that. However, if I jested in some of the same ways with the same words, I would be misunderstood to put it mildly. We can misunderstand language and focus on it rather than understand another’s heart or intentions. My friend reminds me that is very true with St. Paul’s Letter to the Colossians.

St. Paul’s Letter to the Colossians has long been and still is widely misunderstood. Some do not think Paul wrote it, but that assertion is not persuasive. More sad, however, is this: because Paul, writing to Gentiles of a Greco-Roman city, used words they knew well like mystery, philosophy, elemental powers, fullness of the deity, principalities and powers, modern people have focused on that language and not how Paul used it. This is how he used it.

St. Paul used their language to point to Jesus, the crucified and risen Messiah, and how people who were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. Baptism--all the ancients knew ritual washings with water--replaced circumcision and brought [all people] to life along with him.

Relationship with Messiah Jesus was Paul’s purpose. Notice his opening words: Brothers and sisters: As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him, rooted in him and him and built upon him and established in [his] faith as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. Our relationship with Jesus is important because Jesus chooses us to extend his prophetic mission. We know that because we respond positively to Jesus. Jesus chose his apostles, not because they understood him, but because they responded to him positively unlike the scribes and Pharisees. Keeping fresh our relationship with Jesus, crucified and risen, anchors us in him in order to share in his fullness more and more and invite others to join us in him.
Wiki-image used under the GNU Free Documentation license .

No comments: