Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tuesday word, 04 Dec 2007

Advent Tuesday1 (04 Dec 2007) Is 11. 1-10; Ps 72; Lk 10. 21-24
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
God’s Original Justice

The psalms are a good teacher. The hymnbook of the Jewish people extols over and over two things, creation and exodus. As it extols one or the other, or sometimes both, qualities of God emerge. When a psalm sang about the people’s exodus, it praised God’s liberating action, God moved by compassion. When a psalm sang of creation, it recalled God’s creative power, God sustaining everything in existence, God’s original justice.

God’s anointed one, God’s messiah, would recreate everything, refashion it according to God’s original justice for the sake of all: Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever. Advent is our expectation of the new creation. Somehow, as Jesus proclaimed, the new creation is breaking into time and space. “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”

What did they see and hear. The deaf heard, the blind saw, the lame walked, and the poor had the good news preached to them. By whom? First by Jesus, of course. But Jesus broke into praise as we just heard at the return of six dozen disciples he empowered and sent to do the very same. Their return from doing his work moved Jesus to erupt with praise.

How united with Isaiah and other prophets they must have felt! That day of God’s original justice entered their lives. That phrase, on that day, signaled God’s day and with it God’s life reinvigorating all people and all things with God’s justice, not human fairness, but God’s compassionate justice.

Fr. McGrath was correct to connect our parish service day with our Advent mission. The way we mark advent, the celebration of our daily expectation of our Messiah’s return, is by doing Jesus’ work in our small space and time.
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