Thursday, November 08, 2007

Thursday word, 08 Nov 2007

31st Thursday of the Year (08 Nov 2007) Rm 14. 7-12; Ps 27; Lk 15. 1-10
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Giving Glory and Thanksgiving

For St. Paul Christian love is expressed in relation to our crucified and risen Messiah: As Christ is the goal of the law/torah,/1/ Christians replicating his living in their lives means Christian love is the fulfilling of the law/torah./2/ Our living is “for others,” even as our Messiah’s living, dying and rising was and is for us.

To help us make it more concrete, St. Paul offered an image of clothing oneself: put on the Lord Jesus Christ./3/ The implication of putting on our Messiah Jesus meant not assuming the arrogant, puffed-up ways which characterize idolatry and all sin. Their concrete results are quarreling division and jealousy./4/

The resurrection of Jesus gives us new birth to his absolutely new life. This conviction St. Paul had announced loudly and clearly in his letter. In him we have a new lease on living. In fact our Savior’s risen life affects the universe, or in St. Paul’s words, Jesus is Lord of both the dead and the living.

Because we put on the Lord Jesus Christ, we unite ourselves with him. We are the Lord’s in St. Paul’s brief, potent phrase.

We are in relationship with our Messiah because first he relates to us as we are. Our relationship with risen Jesus shapes our relationship with others. As Jesus was and is for us, we seek to be for others, so that whatever we do deepens our relationship with others and glorifies and gives thanks to God/5/ at each moment.

This part of St. Paul’s letter has universal application. It reminds us that we are related to one another because by grace we stand in relation to our crucified and risen Messiah. Our Christian vocation seeks to be in right relationship with our Messiah and with others.
/1/ Chapter 10. 4.
/2/ Chapter 13. 10, in yesterday’s Lectionary selection.
/3/ Chapter 13.14.
/4/ Chapter 13.13 ends with these bad fruits of the works of darkness in 13.12.
/5/ Chapter 14.6.
Wiki-image of St. Paul is in the public domain.

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