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 23, 2006

For Monday of the Second Week of Easter

John 3:7-15

The Gospel tells us that to have eternal life in the kingdom of God the Father we must be born of water and Spirit through the death and resurrection of the Son of God who was lifted up on the cross.
Our daily celebration, offering, worship and reception of the Eucharist are a daily festival of giving testimony to the death and resurrection of Christ.
The Eucharist is Christ lifted up on the cross and raised up into glory from the tomb.
By faith in him who is the Eucharist we may have eternal life in the kingdom of God the Father.
However, the door to the Eucharist is baptism of water and anointing of the Spirit.
We understand that the Father, the Son and the Spirit give us eternal life.
However, Christ puts water on a level with God the Spirit.
Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born of WATER AND SPIRIT, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.

Water— a thing made by God!
God has fashioned our bodies from the elements of land and water.
He has breathed from himself into us the spirit of life.
However, Christ still tells us:
Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born of WATER AND SPIRIT, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.

God loves not just our souls.
He loves us entirely, and for that reason he came to take communion with us entirely— body and soul communion in all things but sin.
Though he also entered into communion with us through the suffering and death of the body, his resurrection in flesh and blood shows us that he counts our bodies as “very good.”
Washed by water in Baptism, our bodies are not so much made clean of earthly dirt as honored by God.
By the incarnation and resurrection of Christ God pays divine honor to the human body.
It is his wish and plan to save the entire human person: not just the soul, but also the mind, the feelings, the will, the body and all its senses.
We already know this.
Every Sunday and whenever we proclaim the creed, we say that we believe in the resurrection of the dead, the resurrection of the body, the life of the world to come and life everlasting.
Eternal life by Baptism is for the entire human person, soul and body— not for the soul without the body, and not for the body without the soul.
Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born of WATER AND SPIRIT, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.

Water is on a par with God the Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, not because water is equal to God, but because God loves the human soul and body equally and entirely.
Why else, then, does he daily and lovingly give even to our bodies his own flesh and blood as our real food and our real drink?
In all things and in all that we are God is with us and God is for us.

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[The Easter season has several prefaces. The first one must be used from the Vigil Mass on Easter Saturday through the Second Sunday of Easter. After that, any of the prefaces of Easter may be used. Here is the second one.]

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.
He has made us children of the light, rising to new and everlasting life. He has opened the gates of heaven to receive his faithful people. His death is our ransom from death; his resurrection is our rising to life. The joy of the resurrection renews the whole world, while the choirs of heaven sing for ever to your glory: Holy, holy, holy....

That God Be Glorified in All


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