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.

May 03, 2006

For the Feast of Sts. Philip and James

John 14:6-14

Today in his Gospel, Christ again asserts his divinity.
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
I am in the Father and the Father is in me.

Christ is saying, “To see me is to see God.”
If Christ is God, what does it mean that those who have faith in him will do greater works than his?
The Lord gives us the beginning of a clue today.
The man who has faith in me
will do the things I do,
and greater far than these.
Because I go to the Father.

He is ascending to the Father.
While he walked on the dust of the earth, Christ kept his public ministry within the borders of Palestine, and he aimed his public ministry specifically at the Jewish people.
He clearly tells his apostles to take his message and his work into the whole world, to all races and all lands.
He gives both a motive and a goal for spreading his message and his work.
Whatever you ask in my name I will do,

That is the greatest work in the world: TO GLORIFY THE FATHER.
The second greatest work in the world is to do good to our neighbors.
Yet even doing good to our neighbors has the motive and the goal of GLORIFYING THE FATHER.
We must not do good in order to glorify ourselves, or to put our neighbors in debt towards us, or even to make them love us back.
Any other motive or goal than the glory of the Father is less than pure, less than worthy.
To spread the message of Christ is a great work.
To spread it beyond Palestine is something he did not do, but left to us.
There is at least a second possible way in which our work is greater than the work Christ did on earth.
He preached to his own Jewish people.
They already believed in the one true God.
Those non-Jews, who also heard Christ all believed in some sort of god.
Today, you and I must do something greater than preach to people who already have some religious faith.
We must bring the message of Christ to our own culture and time that go so far as to reject any notion of God.
Christ worked in Palestine.
He worked as a Jew in the land and the faith of Judaism.
We now must do much more.
For that we need to ask his help, just as he tells us today.
Whatever you ask in my name I will do,
so as to glorify the Father.

That God Be Glorified in All


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