Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sunday word, 17 Jan 15

Jesus’ Joy Is Ours
Second Sunday of the Year B (17 Jan 2016)
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Jesus performed his miracle at Cana for human pleasure: the pleasure of the newlyweds and their guests. That is easily overlooked. It can be overlooked even after celebrating the mystery of the Word of God entering our humanity. 

The gospel notes that at Cana Jesus first revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him. He showed that divine glory and human pleasure are not oil and water that refuse to mix. In Jesus God mixed with us, joined us in everything human save sin.

His miracle flowed from him naturally because Jesus had absorbed Prophet Isaiah’s announcement of God desire for God’s people: you shall be called “My Delight, “and your land “Espoused.” For the Lord delights in you.

The Spirit of Jesus gifts us in varied ways. They are some of ways our triune God delights in us. The Spirit-gifts empower us and shape us like Jesus. A few months after his election Pope Francis described how one Spirit-gift shapes us like Jesus:

“The Christian is a man or woman of joy,…Joy is a gift from the Lord. It fills us from the inside…” [it] …cannot be “bottled up so we can keep it with us,” he said. “If we want this joy just for ourselves, in the end it will make us sick and our hearts will shrivel up and our faces will not transmit that great joy, but nostalgia, that melancholy that isn’t healthy.”1

At the wedding at Cana Jesus celebrating for you and me—for everyone. Jesus was not a “sourpuss,” to use the pope’s image. Nor is anyone who is reshaped like him. A grace to ask for is joy as Jesus lived it. He stayed aware that God was with him. Jesus knew God’s presence so closely that Jesus called God, chatted with God and prayed to God as his Father. Because he stayed attuned to God’s presence to him challenges and questions could not limit Jesus’ freedom. Jesus was always free to choose to be God’s delight, God’s Son in whom God was well pleased.2 The Spirit of Jesus given us empowers us to do the same.

In your daily 15 minutes with Jesus this week
  • Become aware of the Divine Persons embracing you with loving delight.
  • Ask Mary to present you to Jesus.
  • Chat with him: praise Jesus for dying and rising for you; thank him for living joyfully for us and for everyone.
  • Ask Jesus for grace to welcome the joy he offers us by his Spirit.
  • Close saying slowly the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus gave it to us so we might imitate his praying then live more like him.

Link to this homily’s Spiritual Exercise

  1. Homily on 10 May 2013.
  2. Matthew 3.17 and parallels.

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