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 05, 2006

For Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent

John 8:51-59

Today we hear Christ pronounce the words of a binding promise.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever keeps my word
will never taste death.

The persons who first heard Christ speak these words challenged him, asking, in effect, “Just who do you think you are, claiming as you do that no one who keeps YOUR words shall ever know death?”
Christ answers this question for them in two steps.
The first step in Christ’s answer is this:
I know the Father,
your God.
Yes, I know him well,
and I keep his word.

In the second step in his answer Jesus gives himself the name of God by saying, “Before Abraham was, I AM.”
The people recognized this as criminal and vulgar blasphemy spoken at the holy house of God himself.
So, they pick up stones, since the law from God required that a blasphemer be put to death by stoning.
Had you and I been there, we also would have been shocked by Christ’s words, were it not that we have received the gift of faith to see, know and bow down before the meaning of his words.
Christ knows the Father, the God of Abraham.
Christ keeps the word of God, and cannot do otherwise, because he IS the Word of God— the Word of God alive as a man of flesh and blood.
He is God revealing God to us.
Our faith in THIS revelation— our faith in THIS WORD— opens for us the way to never-ending life.
In the Eucharist, God gives his Word— his Promise— in his own Flesh and Blood.
However, he does so expecting us to enter the Promise with him.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever KEEPS my word
will never taste death.

When we say “Amen” to the Eucharist of Christ, we are agreeing to keep his word.

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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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