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 08, 2006

For Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent

John 11:45-56
Jeremiah 20:1-13

Jesus was going to die for the nation,
and not only for the nation,
but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God.

Here at Mass today, three of the prayers, plus the Old Testament reading and the Gospel all point to the children of God: God’s children from the Jewish nation of Abraham; and God’s children whom he adopts from all the nations of the world through baptism.
Until Christ the Son of God came into the world two thousand years ago, there were only two kinds of religion in the world.
There was the religion of the Jews who recognized the true and only living God.
Then, there were all the religions of those who did not know there is only one, true, living God.
The People of God, his children the Jews, were once slaves to the pagan Egyptians.
To separate his children from the unbelievers, God ordered his children to mark their homes with the blood of a sacrificed lamb.
Those who did not live under the blood of a lamb sacrificed to God lost their firstborn sons to the angel of death.
From then on, the Jews, the children of God, always lived under the bloodstains of a lamb sacrificed to God.
The rest of the world did not.
Christ, a Jew, a descendant of Abraham, also lived under the bloodstains of a lamb sacrificed to God.
However, Christ the only and firstborn Son of God became the new, eternal, sacrificed and eternally risen Lamb of God.
The blood of lambs marked the doors of Jewish homes.
Now the Son of God would spill his own blood at the door of Jerusalem, in the presence of the Jews and their new pagan masters and masters of the world, the Romans.
The blood of a Jew, Christ, now marks the lives of those of any nation who are baptized in his name and in the name of his Father and their Holy Spirit.
Christ himself marked this new way of becoming children of God by calling his self-sacrifice in Jerusalem his own baptism.
We now enter with Christ the holy week of his baptism.
Let us be mindful of his holy sacrifice.
Let us be mindful that we have received his holy and living bloodstains at baptism.
The Son of God lived on earth that the nations of the world might live as children of God.
The Lamb of God offered himself in sacrifice that we might live free in God as his children.
The Son of God is risen forever in flesh and blood that we might live forever in Spirit and Father and Son.

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The weekdays of the Fifth Week of Lent have a special "Preface" for the Eucharistic Prayer. The Preface sets the tone. Click HERE to read it.

That God Be Glorified in All


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