Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sunday word, 13 Nov 16

33rd Sunday of the Year C (13 Nov 2016)
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Prophets of Faithful Love
Edging to its close the liturgical year reminds us: more awaits us beyond our lives on earth. In our tradition this more follows judgment. Prophet Malachi imaged it as a blazing oven for the ungodly, and a sun of justice for god-fearers and the people of the covenant alike.

You and I are not well disposed to judgment. The reasons are many. Among them we young and old alike readily accommodate ourselves to our feel-good culture more than to the prophetic tradition. We prefer comfort over challenge. Prophets responded to concrete situations of drifting from covenant with God. Prophet Jesus announced God’s desire is available to people to live in deed and word. Prophetic voices and prophetic actions strongly challenge us to make God’s desire come alive.

Jesus aligned himself with the tradition of the prophets. He revealed it in his person. He spoke its judgment. Neither stopped people from seeking him or coming to him to beg his mercy and kindness. They intuited that his were the divine mercy and loving kindness creating the world. Divine love creates every moment; one can easily forget that. When we forget creation becomes a past event, and our motivation to live grows self-centered—often without our knowing it.

Jesus attitude was not self-centered. He was loving toward all. He continually invites us to share his attitude. St. Paul responded to the invitation of risen Jesus and encouraged: Have the same attitude as Christ Jesus.1 A saying of St. John of the Cross encourages us to have it; it also makes judgment a bright goal inviting conversion: “At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.”2 

Many messages bombard us and blind us to our goal: love less; love ourselves more; love is weak and timid; even, be afraid to love. Fortunately Pope Francis champions merciful love. He is a prophet of love-in-action. We may let ourselves be distracted from his strong message. Like those who stood with Jesus in the temple, we may be distracted by the noble beauty of our surroundings than attentive to the suffering beyond walls of church and borders of city, province and nation. Distracted from what really goes on makes us dupes of deception. True to his prophetic vocation Jesus warns us as he warned those with him in the temple, See that you not be deceived.

How are we to remain faithful? Keeping ourselves in the orbit of Jesus—asking to share his attitude, his heart—helps us keep faith. Noticing if a message, an activity, a possession, a choice offers a short-lived high and no enduring contentment, peace of mind and stability of soul also helps us keep faith. Exposing double messages to ourselves shapes us more like Jesus.

Perhaps the most vicious deceit of all is this: expose deceits to others and I will undermine culture and its progress. To expose them does not trash culture’s noble contributions; to expose deceits does not slight any created thing given us to help us love God and others more freely. To expose culture’s double messages to ourselves and others is in sync with the prophetic tradition, from Moses to Malachi to Jesus, the apostles and the saints. It reminds us Jesus is our Creator and Redeemer; the source of all we are, all we have, all we have done and will do to glorify Jesus and his gospel with our lives.

Singleness of truth rests in keeping close to Jesus and embracing him, our Creator and Redeemer. His truth frees us lovingly to promote him and his gospel by our choices and actions.

In your daily 15 minutes with Jesus this week
  • Rest in our triune God’s creating love
  • Ask Mary and the saints to present you to Jesus.
  • Chat with Jesus: thank him for creating you each moment; praise him for all the ways he offers himself to you—in the sacraments, in his word, in love received and given, even under the guise of suffering stranger and friend.
  • Ask Jesus for the grace to share his attitude and energetically to practice it by your choices and actions.
  • Close saying slowly the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus’ words, on earth as it is in heaven, on our lips are not just about his Father’s limitless power and presence. On earth as it is in heaven is our plea for hearts more like Jesus’ heart so we may live our baptized priesthood for all, especially the least among us.
  1. Philippians 2.5.
  2. Quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], 1022.

Wiki-images Disciples Admire the Temple Building PD-US Morning Beams PDP

No comments: