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 07, 2006

For Thursday of the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

Mark 12:28-34

We have just witnessed a brief, remarkable conversation between two masters: one, our Master Christ, and the other a scribe, a master of Jewish religious law.
At the end of their conversation the Lord simply says, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
That Jewish scribe, a master of religious law, and Christ our Master must have parted as friends.
As for us, Christ our Lord, our Master and Teacher, puts the command to love God and neighbor in our lives as believers above any merely external worship of God.
Christ obeyed his own love for the Father and for us by means of his own sacrificial death on the cross and by means of his Eucharist.
In his death on the cross and in his Eucharist, Christ’s living love AND his sacrificial worship absolutely coincide.
With this extreme loving self-sacrifice, his love for the Father and for us takes on an actual intensity that was unthinkable and impossible in the sacrifices of Israel’s ancient religion.
Here in the Eucharist, Christ in his sacrificial death is present— present in that sacrifice by which he gives loving worship to the Father— that sacrifice by which he brings loving salvation to us.
Here in the sacrament of the Eucharist, we have the absolute beginning and foundation of love for God and neighbor.
The Second Vatican Council’s document on the liturgy [SC 10] puts it this way.
The liturgy is the SUMMIT toward which the activity of the Church is directed;
it is also the FOUNTAIN from which all her power flows.
For the goal of apostolic endeavor
is that all who are made children of God by faith and baptism
should come together to praise God in the midst of his Church,
to take part in the SACRIFICE
and to EAT the Lord’s Supper.

Here in Christ’s Eucharist we have the absolute fulfillment, goal, summit or high point, as well as the absolute foundation, beginning, fountain or source of love for God and neighbor.
Between the beginning and the fulfilling of love, there are many steps and points to work out in our daily living.
Still, we can never do better than to begin and end here with the Eucharist, the fountain and the peak of love and worship, the sacrament of Christ’s absolute love and of Christ’s absolute sacrificial worship.

That God Be Glorified in All


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