Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday word, 24 Apr 16

Reclaiming Now
Fifth Sunday of Easter C (24 Apr 2016)
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
More than four centuries of scientific imagination and thought have shaped us. Scientific imagination and thought have let us progress and enjoy the ways we live today. One cost of scientific thinking to our deep, true selves affects the way we decide what is real. We consider —without second thoughts—that what is real is what we can see, hold, count and measure in all sorts of ways. We may call it out-there, outside-me view of the world.

I hear someone say, “That’s true, and there’s more.” Absolutely! Our interior selves, our spirits live. Yet we cannot extract our desires, our loves, our temptations, our courage, our hopes, our patience, our fidelity, our endurance, our generosity. We cannot extract them or any other interior feature, put them on a table and dissect them. In our honest moments we readily name as real features of our interior selves.

Our exalted Messiah, Jesus, is real now. Jesus lives now; Jesus is present among us now. Our exalted Messiah Jesus is a living presence; Jesus is more real than anything we can see, hold, count or measure. Our gospel selection expressed that briskly: Now is the Son of Man glorified. Jesus’ glorification and exaltation did not remove Jesus from us; Jesus abides with us by his holy Spirit. Jesus’ Spirit is our Christian energy; his Spirit makes effective our Christian witness.

Our scientific imagination desires to hear nowNow is the Son of Man glorified—as the report of Jesus’ words in the past. His exalted glory is present not past. The church invited us as mass began to enter his real present: Almighty ever-living God, constantly accomplish the Paschal Mystery within us. The church comfortably refers to Jesus’ dying and rising: now and not confined to the past. His paschal mystery is now, among us. Our exalted Messiah Jesus speaks to us as he spoke to John on Patmos: Behold, I make all things new.

All things includes us. Our triune God has a purpose in making new: the rest of our first prayer at mass expressed God’s purpose and included us in it: that those you were pleased to make new in Holy Baptism may, under your protective care, bear much fruit [on our way] to the joys of life eternal. The fruit we bear is our virtuous action on behalf of others. The fruit we bear Jesus’ Spirit makes effective even if we do not see its results. Our Christian actions bear fruit when we love as Jesus loved us. Christian love is open hearted, open handed; its focus is others not self. Christian love renews us and our world. We are made new each time our Christian love deepens and grows more committed. Others begin to be transformed when they experience that deep love, faithful love is possible.

Next time any of us is tempted to think Jesus is a dead person in the past, remember God…constantly [desires to] accomplish the Paschal Mystery within us. Constantly means now, every now of our lives.

In your daily 15 minutes with Jesus this week
  • Rest in our triune God.
  • Ask Mary and the saints to present you to Jesus.
  • Chat with him: praise him for abiding with us even when we are unaware he accompanies us; thank him for the privileged way he abides with us in his sacraments and shares his exalted life with us.
  • Ask Jesus for grace to live out the life he offers you.
  • Close saying slowly the Lord’s Prayer. His words, thy will be done, beg God constantly [to] accomplish the Paschal Mystery within us.

Link to this homily’s Spiritual Exercise

Wiki-image: The last sermon of our Lord PD-US Sacrament of Jesus’ Love PD-US

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