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 19, 2006

For Tuesday of the Eleventh Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Matthew 5:43-48

Today we begin the Gospel right where we left it yesterday.
Yesterday Christ told us:
offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one to him as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand him your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go with him for two miles.

Christ is telling us to allow ourselves repeatedly to be abused.
From a merely human perspective, such an idea is unhealthy, unreasonable, unintelligent, irresponsible and even criminal.
However, it is God’s description of God’s love for us sinners.
The Gospel yesterday and today defies and rises above our normal way of seeing things.
It defies and rises above our normal way of seeing our selves.
Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.

It is God who never turns his face away from the rebellious sinner.
It is God who walks mile after unreasonable mile with the presumptuous sinner.
It is God who strips himself naked to clothe the abusive sinner with mercy.
It is God who never refuses forgiveness no matter how often the sinner begs for it.
Here in the Eucharist, it is God himself who sacrifices and gives himself in flesh and blood as the living food and drink of sinners.
This is the sign, the instrument, the promise, the proclamation and the real presence of God’s perfect and undefeatable goodness to us.

That God Be Glorified in All


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