One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

March 21, 2006

For Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent

Matthew 18:21-35

In the original language of the Gospel, the first servant owes the king ten thousand talents.
That was an amount of money equivalent to the salary for ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND YEARS.
That servant begged and promised to pay back everything.
The king simply canceled the whole debt.
However, that servant turned and jailed a co-worker who owed him the equivalent of only one hundred days of wages.
The king finds out.
He captures the first servant and sends him to be tortured and imprisoned.
The Lord Jesus ends the parable in a terrifying manner.

So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you,
if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.

Our Lord simply ends the parable today with that threat.
However, the living parable of Christ himself goes on in all its reality, all its effects and all its power whenever we celebrate, offer and receive the Eucharist.
In his Eucharist, our Lord is the king, and you and I owe an eternity worth of debt for our souls.
On top of that, we have sinned.
Though we are the debtors, we are not sold into slavery.
Rather, the king himself, the king’s son, the Son of God, has been sold into slavery for us and for our debt.
Our debt to him, our guilt, has been laid upon him.
He took it upon himself, even without our having dared to ask this.
Furthermore, in return for the burden of our guilt, he himself laid his own divinity and innocence upon us.
He, our King and God, accepted to be tortured for the sake of our debt.
This wonderful exchange of humanity for divinity, and divinity for humanity, this exchange of his innocence for our guilt, this exchange of our enslavement for his divine sonship—all this—is again present for us, renewed in us and strengthened in us each time we celebrate, offer and receive the Eucharist.
When we declare our guilt, we ask to be eligible for Christ’s innocence.
For such an exchange, we now have an even greater debt of thanksgiving, praise, honor, glory and worship.

That God Be Glorified in All


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