Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Tuesday word, 08 Jan 2008

Tuesday after Epiphany (08 Jan 2008) 1Jn 4. 7-10; Ps 72; Mk 6. 34-44
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
God’s Rescuing Love

One of the gifts of the revised liturgical calendar of the Second Vatican Council is that the Christmas season is longer than 12 days. Now we can contemplate Jesus’ manifestation as God-with-us for another week. We close Christmas time with the Baptism of the Lord.

Just like our own birthdays remember but don’t reenact our births; and just like tracing on our bodies the sign of the cross with holy water and eating and drinking the eucharist remind us of our baptisms, which occured once and for all: so, too, does pondering the Incarnation remind us that God’s loved us first. We are not the children of God because of our striving; we are the children of God because of God’s loving gift. To use the encouraging words of the First Letter of John: In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that [God] loved us and sent [God’s] Son as expiation for our sins.

The Wise Men did not turn up their noses at the child of no-bodies from Nazareth. Their child filled them with awe! A star led them to know he would change the world. Later, people like St. Peter recognized Jesus as a prophet and a messiah when, among other things, he fed the multitudes. Words like Ezekiel’s echoed in Peter and others: As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep. I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark./1/

As we bask in the light of Epiphany, we may ponder, “How does Jesus desire to rescue and nourish me?” God’s self-gift in Jesus by the power of their Spirit desires to transform us in never-ending fashion. We begin by desiring God’s desire for us.
/1/ Ezekiel 34. 12.
Wiki-image of the Epifania of Roland de Mois is in the public domain.

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