Thursday, November 23, 2017

On Thanksgiving Day

God wants to regale us. "God is to be enjoyed," says St. Augustine. A banquet is prepared; he is the banquet. But maybe too often we lower our heads and come to him with bowls that are much too small. We don't want to be greedy, or risk being disappointed. But Jesus wants to fill us with an infinity of compassion and mercy.

The Lord reminds us, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine. When you pass through waters, I will be with you; through rivers, you shall not be swept away. When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned, nor will flames consume you. For I, the Lord, am your God, the Holy One of Israel, your savior. I give Egypt as ransom for you, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes and honored, and I love you, I give people in return for you and nations in exchange for your life.” Is 43

Pope Benedict has called this the "law of excess or superfluity;" the too-muchness of God. And it runs through the whole of salvation history and reaches its perfection in Jesus. This superfluity is perfectly expressed in Jesus, in his signs and words, in his passion, dying and resurrection; it is he who reveals this boundlessness and immeasurability of God's love and compassion and mercy. Extravagant abundance is the sign of the day of salvation in Christ- never ever skimpiness, meagerness, and need. God's very self is overflowing life, and he longs to share this life with us so that we may love as he loves. Rejoicing, gladness, thanksgiving and the promise to share the abundance - these are our proper response.