Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tuesday word, 27 Nov 2007

34th Tuesday (27 Nov 2007) Dn 2. 31-45; Resp. Dn 3; Lk 21. 5-11
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Double Meaning of End

Luke, as you know, wrote two parts to evangelize Gentiles: his gospel, a portrait of Jesus; and his Acts of the Apostles, a portrait of the beginning church. He connected the two intimately: the Acts completes his gospel.

That helps us appreciate that the end Luke remembered Jesus speak about was the end of Jerusalem and its Temple. After his resurrection Jesus told his disciples to go to Jerusalem and to wait there until [they were] clothed with power from on high/1/. They did just that. Even before the Temple was destroyed, Jesus and his holy spirit superseded it. The presence of the Holy One was no longer confined to the Temple. Jesus’ disciples became temples of his spirit, empowered to do Jesus’ work of proclaiming the kingdom of God.

Messiah Jesus numbers us among those living, evangelizing temples of his spirit. We are living stones of God’s indestructible kingdom, a network of faithful people who supersede all powers. Our challenge is to live and act our part.

Jesus’ way of expressing our challenge our tradition has made well known: we are to live in the world without being of it. Perhaps we know that too well; so well that we don’t feel it as our challenging vocation.

We are human and subject to human limitation and human vagaries and vicissitudes. Yet we humans are spirits clothed in flesh,/2/ and as disciples we want to choose that the spirit dimension is never clouded by our humanity, or worse, obliterated by it.

“In the world but not of it” challenges us to live Jesus’ prayer and blessing for us. [We] are not of the world, even as [Jesus said] I am not of the world...[Father,] as you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world./3/ The end of time is not anyone’s to know save God. More important for us to concern ourselves with end’s other meaning: "purpose." Our purpose is to continue what Jesus began so that more people will be closer to the goal of Jesus’ mission: proclaiming the kingdom in deed above all, and sometimes in word.
/1/ Luke 24.49.
/2/ So St. Thomas Aquinas defined the human being.
/3/ John 17. 16 & 18.
Flickr-image by Midiman of a model of the Second Temple is used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 license.

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