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.

June 04, 2006

For Monday of the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

Mark 12:1-12

A day or so before our Lord spoke this parable, he was outside the gates of Jerusalem.
He stopped to inspect a fig tree, looking for fruit.
Finding none, he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!”
The fig tree dried up from top to root.
The Lord expected fruit from that tree.
Since it gave none, he took away its vigor.
By condemning a fruitless fig tree, he set the stage for what he announces in the Gospel today.
Speaking to the religious and social heads of Israel’s family tree, he tells them in a parable that the owner of the vineyard will give the vineyard to others.
No longer will the kingdom of the true God draw its membership exclusively from the family tree of Abraham.
This is a sharp turn in world history.
It does NOT mean the Jews are shut out from the kingdom of God.
It is simply that race no longer automatically includes or excludes anyone from citizenship in the kingdom of God.
What, then, makes one a member of the kingdom of God?
First: the kingdom of God will be given to those who produce the fruits of the kingdom of God.
Second: to bear the fruit of the kingdom of God is to welcome the Son of God— to welcome him as master, keeper and cornerstone of the House of God.
To welcome him is also to be welcomed by him into his Father’s House.
It is to have him save us from sin and eternal loss.
To bear fruit for him is to follow and imitate him in glorifying the Father and in doing good.
To be saved, we must have FAITH in CHRIST, we must WELCOME him, AND we must BEAR FRUIT for him.
It is not enough simply to welcome Christ as Lord in our lives..
He teaches us that we MUST also BEAR FRUIT.
To call him “Lord,” but do nothing for him, is to be like that fig tree that extended its leaves in welcome, but offered none of the fruit he expected.
We might as well collapse and dry up.
If we presume on our title as baptized children of God, but do not produce the fruits of our Father’s kingdom, then we turn ourselves out of the kingdom of heaven.
Sin is both the doing of evil and the failure to do good.
Sin— together with the complexities of life that lead us into sin— the burden of all sin has been shouldered by Christ, the Lamb of God who bears away the sins of the world.
Freely taking on the deadly sterility of our guilt, he became the barren fig tree.
He withered in thirst and collapsed in death on a cross.
In that choice he changed the course of history.
Now in his Eucharist, he gives us the abundant fruit of his own life offered and raised up for the glory of the Father and the good of the world.
Let us do the same with our lives.

UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All







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