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.

April 16, 2006

For Easter Monday

Matthew 28:8-15

Today in the Gospel we begin by seeing the holy women running away from the tomb of Jesus, half-overjoyed and half-fearful, running to carry to the disciples the good news of the Lord’s resurrection.
The women have not yet seen the risen Lord himself, but they have already seen something quite wonderful.
They were at the tomb at dawn. Soldiers were there on guard.
Suddenly the earth trembled, and an angel of the Lord appeared.
The angel opened the tomb, but, in spite of the guards, the tomb was already empty.
Although they have not seen the Lord, the women perhaps already begin to realize what the angel is about to tell them.
… Jesus who was crucified … is not here, for he is risen, as he said.

So, the women run off to obey, to convey the good news.
It is then, as they obey their mission, that the risen Lord comes to meet them.
They throw themselves to the ground in worship, daring to touch only his feet.
He soon vanishes.
They continue their mission.
They carry him in their minds and hearts.
Yet, he is more than their memories, more than the thoughts and dispositions of their minds and hearts.
He is HIMSELF, truly risen and in glory, leaving empty his own still sealed and guarded tomb.
We, too, are his witnesses.
We, too, can carry and keep him in our hearts and minds.
Yet it is not we who take him to ourselves.
It is he who in his mercy and love now freely breathes the Spirit of the Father upon and within us.
It is only as we obey the mission he gives us that our minds and hearts know his real presence.
It is only by obedience to him that we become his witnesses.
It was on the way of obedience that the women met the risen Lord.
Like these women hurrying from the tomb, hurrying on the way of obedience, our lives also will have a mixture of both joy and fear.
It is in the midst of this conflict of feelings, that is to say, it is in the midst of simple real life that we must find ourselves obeying the mission of announcing the resurrection to the world.
The risen Lord is coming to be really present among us, just as he promised.
The sealed stone tomb was no obstacle.
The mere appearances of bread and wine are no obstacle.
His flesh is real— it is real food.
His blood is real— it is real drink.
His resurrection is as simple and real and true as that.

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The Preface for this Mass (the "Easter Perspective" on the Liturgy of the Eucharist)

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We praise you with greater joy than ever on this Easter day, when Christ became our paschal sacrifice. He is the true Lamb who took away the sins of the world. By dying he destroyed our death; by rising he restored our life. And so, with all the choirs of angels in heaven we proclaim your glory and join in their unending hymn of praise: Holy, holy, holy....

That God Be Glorified in All


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