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 16, 2006

For Monday of the Fifteenth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Matthew 10:34 to 11:1
Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth.
I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
Christ’s suffering and death on the cross bring to the world division, not peace.
Faith in our Lord can divide the closest relationships, splitting even families.
Too many of us who call ourselves Christians fit right in with the sensitivities, preferences and agendas of our present culture.
Too many of us want what our culture falsely proposes as “rights”.
We end up on fire with ideologies, instead of on fire with the Sacrificial Theology of the Cross.
The scandal of the Cross is that we must suffer.
It is the scandal that God who is love has become flesh and blood, and did not erase suffering and injustice from our world, but threw himself into them and burned himself up.
Only so has he shown that love has no conditions or limits neither in the spirit nor in the flesh.
He scandalizes us.
Do we believe in him and follow him even if it means suffering?
Our shame is that we let lesser things than martyrdom scare us away from imitating Christ’s zealous love.
Because of that, we blend right in with the rest of our godless culture.
Thankfully, there are some zealous Christians to be found and seen.
Zealous Christians put no limit on the obedience of love— whether in their spiritual intentions or the way they actually live in the material world.
No limit on the obedience of love!
Some zealous Christians come to honor the resurrection of the Lord in his Body and Blood every Sunday at Mass, and do not think twice about sacrificing every other activity on that day, to remain free to worship publicly and testify publicly to the Lord in the midst of his Church.
The Church has always and still does teach that to intentionally fail in this regard is a grave sin that mortally wounds the soul.
A zealous Christian simply practices both charity and justice.
Our risen Lord is no disembodied spirit and neither are we.
Our faith in him must divide us both spiritually and bodily from whatever is godless in our culture.
The hardest part, however, is that the division must take place within us as well.
That is because we are born with a tendency to sin.
Though our Lord had no tendency to sin, nonetheless he also suffered temptation.
However, he was also driven by the Holy Spirit, and has poured out the same Spirit into us by baptism.
The sacraments will bear their fruit in us if we freely cooperate.
Our divisive Christian zeal must be known by the virtues and by the gifts and fruits of the Spirit:
prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance…
wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, piety, fear of the Lord…
charity, generosity, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity.

Our Lord had these in all their fullness.
They burned in him and brought him a baptism in blood.
Here now in the Body of Christ— and in daily life— let us also burn with zeal.
Here now in the Blood of Christ— and in daily life— let us also be baptized.
Only so shall we rise to him in body and in Spirit.

That God Be Glorified in All


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