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 25, 2006

For Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter

John 16:23-28
The Father himself loves you
because you have loved me
and have believed that I came from the Father.

All that was to be seen in the person of Christ during his time on earth reached its culmination in his ascension to the Father in the invisible glory of heaven.
Through the liturgy and our faith we have been— we ARE witnesses of all this.
We are Christ’s witnesses and disciples.
As Christ was preparing his first witnesses for his final departure, he gave them two duties.
Those two duties also belong perpetually to all of Christ’s witnesses and disciples.
Here and now in the liturgy, we are receiving, renewing and celebrating those two duties.
The first duty for all followers of Christ is to wait in prayer for the Spirit.
The Spirit is the driving force for our second duty— the duty to be witnesses of Christ to the whole world.
These two duties, although distinct, also take place simultaneously.
We are obedient witnesses of Christ only as we obey the Spirit in prayer.
In the liturgy, we seek to carry out those two simultaneous duties:
we prayerfully await the coming of the Spirit;
we submit to the Spirit that we might serve as Christ’s witnesses.
We have never physically seen Christ.
We have never physically heard him.
What does the Spirit do to make us Christ’s witnesses?
The Holy Spirit makes us MINDFUL of Christ.
The Spirit makes us NOT FORGET.
The Spirit of God carries out in us what Christ asked of us on the night before he died: namely, that when we offer his Body and Blood in the Eucharist we should be:
mindful of all that Christ did;
mindful of all that he is;
mindful that he will come to us again.
We are here because love calls us to him who has been immeasurably good to us.
The Spirit offers us the power of faith to love Christ God who has loved us first.
Today we heard the Spirit make present Christ’s words in the Gospel.
The Father himself loves you
because you have loved me
and have believed that I came from the Father.

By making us mindful of Christ, by provoking us never to forget Christ, the Spirit of God also calls us to love Christ and to believe that he came from the Father.
In his ascension, Christ has returned to the Father, but he will come to us again.
It is our mission to be mindful of all this, to hope in it, to believe and to serve.
Now in the Eucharist, let us consciously pray and seek to be renewed in our mission.

That God Be Glorified in All


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