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.

July 28, 2006

For Friday of the Sixteenth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Matthew 13:18-23

We hear this parable of seed and soil five times a year in the Church.
The various parts of this parable have many meanings and layers of meaning to consider.
However, taken as a single whole, this parable simply teaches that the Lord has expectations of us.
God has planted a seed in each of us.
The seed is his Spirit, his Word, his grace.
We receive God’s Word, his Spirit and Grace through faith, the liturgy and sacraments.
He expects us to be good soil, freely receiving the seed, and working actively so that the seed grows, flowers and bears fruit.
He expects us to yield profit many times over.
God is looking for results.
He expects our lives to be fruitful for his kingdom.
God in his grace makes himself into the possibility of our meeting his expectations.
Both the possibility and the power come from God, yet to be “good soil” is not just to be passive.
Good soil freely works with what God has given.
In the book of Genesis, we see God shape our bodies from the soil of the earth and breathe his own Spirit into us.
In creating us God wrote his Spirit, his ways and laws into the nature of our minds, hearts and bodies.
This deep mystery of God’s Spirit present in our nature, speaks silently in our consciences, and invites every human person to life with God.
That is what the Church calls “natural law”— the way of God, the Spirit of God breathing in us and making us uniquely HUMAN— we are real spirits and we have real bodies.
Moreover, in God becoming flesh and blood as a member of humanity, in his death on the cross, in his flesh and blood resurrection to glory and in his Eucharist, God breathes, plows and plants himself ever more deeply into our hearts, our minds, our consciences, our bodies and our lives.
It is God that we bear like a seed within us.
If we freely choose to work with what God has given, then it is God himself who grows, blossoms and yields a hundred-fold in us.
However, it is our own full human nature that rose and blossomed DIVINE in God in the Resurrection.
In the end, our salvation and final resurrection are the hundred-fold yield of fruit that the Lord expects from us and for us.
The Eucharist is the real presence of all this.
It is Christ himself: Son of God, Son of man, Son of Resurrection— truly in flesh and blood.
As the risen vessel of the Spirit, Christ is the seed planted in our humanity, and Christ is the beginning of the ripe harvest that is our own glorified humanity.
Today and at every Mass, we dare to receive God’s Spirit, his grace and his Word through the Gospel and the Eucharist.
Let us be grateful, but all the more mindful that with these gifts also come God’s expectations.
We are to be his coworkers.
Let nothing he gives us go to waste, for he gives us his very self.

That God Be Glorified in All


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