Saturday, June 28, 2008

Saturday word, 28 Jun 2008

St. Irenaeus, Memorial (28Jun2008) Lam 2. 2, 10-14,18-19; Ps 74; Mt 8. 5-17
Homily of Rev. Paul D. Panaretos, S.J.
Faith Fluency

The gospels yesterday and today have been about coming to faith in Jesus. Specifically, neither disciples, who were slow to come to faith (which is hope for us all), nor demons, who knew the identity of Jesus, but people the tradition from well before Jesus and afterward called God-fearers, approach Jesus and ask Jesus to help them. They traveled to Jesus physically. They also traversed a more real distance not found on maps from disbelief to belief.

Jesus words described this journey and its goal when he cried out in amazement, “many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven, but the children of the Kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

Jesus’ words remind me that traversing the more real distance from disbelief to belief or from less faith to greater faith involves our movements through life. Jesus’ words remind
caused me to ponder that St. Irenaeus was born on the coast of what we call Turkey and served as bishop in what we know as east-central France, in what had begun as a Roman colony.

He traveled uncharted depths of faith and reason, too, and so could express the essence of Christianity concisely with the maxim “the glory of God is a human being fully alive!”

Full life means exercising ourselves so that we can live the Christian life more effortlessly, like the way we speak our native languages. After we learn the rules of English we don’t think about them as much as we use them to communicate effectively. To travel the uncharted distances of faith and reason and encounter Jesus more clearly in a personal manner makes us more fluent in living the faith of Jesus and making it our own. The more we witness to Jesus with our lives the nearer we get to the light and life of the kingdom. Not practicing our faith veils us in darkness, the consequences of which none of us would choose over light and full life.
Wiki-image of St. Irenaeus is in the public domain.

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