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Monday, June 30, 2008
In today's Gospel, a scribe comes to Jesus and says to him, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus answered him, "Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head."
I often reflect on the loneliness that the human Jesus must have felt after he left home. He seems to have had no place to really call home. Even today, he is left alone in so many tabernacles throughout the world. That is why some parishes now have chapels for perpetual adoration. I know that Jesus waits for us; he is in our hearts just waiting for us to make him feel at home there. I did not intend to write any of this but maybe we need to think that Jesus has a heart that longs for love.
My reflection this morning was going to be on the "transformation of Paul" as I was reading in Cardinal Martini's book about the inner attitudes of Paul. The first attitude that we find in all his letters is a great inner joy and peace. Paul knows that his joy comes from God and is present even in the midst of conflict.
The second inner attitude, which follows from the first, is Paul's capacity for gratitude. Martini tells us that it is "typical of the apostle to combine joy with thanksgiving." All his letters begin with a prayer of Thanksgiving except for one. Martini says that "beginning every letter with thanks means that he knows how to value primarily the postivie in whatever community he is writing to, even if there are some weighty, negative things that will need to be said."
The third attitude is praise. Paul has many blessings and continues the Jewish tradition of blessing. Here is an example: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing...(Ephesians 1:3)
During this year dedicated to Paul let us pray for and cultivate his inner attitudes of joy, gratitude, and praise.