Monday, April 20, 2009

The Spirit of the Risen Jesus, Monday, Easter 2

Among his points or preliminary conversations for considerations on the Resurrection of Jesus in the Fourth Week of his Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius Loyola invites the exercitant to "Consider the office of consoler that Christ our Lord exercises, and compare it with the way in which friends are wont to console one another" (#223). Christ Jesus acts by consoling his disciples in the ordinary and extraordinary aspects of life.

Nicodemus in today's gospel comes to Jesus at night to evade detection, but Jesus confronts him with wondrous statements about the Holy Spirit's unpredicatability, even to shaking up people, as the conversation shook up this elder in religious praxis, one who seemed to have gotten away from the freedom God's rule offers. What a lesson for us priests and religious as we age: our need to let the Spirit of Jesus lead us to the heart of the church's mission in ever newer ways.

In the reading from Acts today, the whole community shook when the house in which the Spirit came rocked them all! There are still such signs in the new evangelizing movements of our day as the Spirit of Jesus consoles us only to also shake us up.

My day started, after Mass, with a trip to an endodontist for a root canal. At the end of his labours the dentist handed me instructions for the rest of the day: go home and rest (I had several important meetings booked at the office), eat only soft foods for the next couple of days, keep an ice pack on your face (15 minutes on, fifteen minutes off) and make sure you don't loosen the sutures. When he asked me if all was clear, I said I hadn't noticed him putting in sutures. He said, "oh, my apologies, that's the wrong set of instructions--it's the one for oral surgery". Whew, what a relief!

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