Thursday, November 24, 2016

"MY WORDS SHALL NOT PASS AWAY."


Homily for November 25th, 2016: Luke 21:29-33.

          On the next to last day of the year in the Church’s calendar, she gives us Jesus’ words: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Remembering the boy Samuel’s words in the Jerusalem Temple, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening” (1 Sam. 3:10), we listen to some of Jesus’ words.

-  To Mary and Joseph, thankful to have found their Son in the Temple after a frantic search, the 12-year-old boy speaks his first recorded words: “Did you not know that I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Lk. 2:49) Already, at age 12, Jesus knows that God was his Father, not Joseph.

-  What gospel reader does not recall Jesus’ words to Nicodemus: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him may not die, but may have eternal life”? (Jn. 3:16)

-  Which of us has not found comfort in the words: “Come to me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon your shoulders and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. Your souls will find rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden light” (Mt. 11:28ff)?

-  Unforgettable too are Jesus’ words of the terrified young girl just delivered from death by stoning for adultery: “Nor do I condemn you. You may go. But from now on avoid this sin.” (Jn. 8:11)

-  Jesus’ seven last words from the cross have provided inspiration for uncounted thousands of preachers on Good Friday.
     AFather, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.@ (Lk 23:34)
      To the penitent thief, crucified next to him: AToday you shall be with me
            in paradise (Lk 23:43).
     AWoman, there is your son …son, there is your mother.@ (Jn. 26: 19f).
     AMy God, my God, why have you forsaken me?@ ( Mk. 15:34)
      AI thirst.@ (Jn. 19:28)
      “It is finished.” (Jn. 19:30);
      “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” (Lk 23:46).

-  Finally Jesus’ words to Mary Magdalene in the garden of the resurrection: “Do not cling to me … Rather, go to my brothers …( Jn. 20:17).

          Jesus is saying the same to us, right now.