Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wednesday word, 12 Sep 2007

23d Wednesday (12 Sep 2007) Col 3. 1-11; Ps 145; Lk 6. 20-26
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Consolation and Conversion

The blessings and woes Luke puts on the lips of Jesus are not as well known as the more familiar ones in the First Gospel. These Lukan ones contain a key: consolation now. Our best way to appreciate and to understand that is by a phrase used earlier in the gospel, the consolation of Israel. You recall that Simeon and Anna, who were present in the temple when Jesus’ parents presented their first-born to God, were upright people who awaited the consolation of Israel. Simeon proclaimed that the birth of Jesus fulfilled that, that Jesus was the consolation of Israel. Being in Jesus, dying and rising with Jesus, to use baptismal imagery, steers our lives into a new direction, into Jesus’ direction. That direction is described and named by faith.

Resurrection life culminates in glory, sharing the glory of our risen Lord, when he appears. In the meantime, we live our resurrections by lives of faith.

To live faith has much more to do with what is seen and practiced: thus, St. Paul’s language of behavior in this section of his Letter to the Colossians.

The people of Colossae had sought new, higher and greater things outside themselves, individually and the community. That led to their rude and reckless living with one another. Dying and rising with their Messiah Jesus in baptism steered them to live with sensitivity and compassion, the sensitivity and compassion of Jesus.

Resurrection faith transforms living beyond mere politeness to a true care for others and recognizing all, who is our reason not to discriminate against anyone. Our future glory in Christ depends on living well now and for all to see our new life hidden with Christ in God.
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