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 31, 2006

For Monday of the Seventeenth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Matthew 13:31-35

Today we hear our Lord conclude a short series of parables about the kingdom of heaven.
The Gospel tells us today that our Lord always taught the people in parables, revealing to them the kingdom of heaven that has stayed hidden since the foundation of the world.
Through the patriarchs and prophets of ancient Israel, that hidden kingdom was gradually and partially revealed.
Finally, our Lord himself is the kingdom of heaven “personified”, as it were, and present in fullness.
Still, our Lord himself, and the kingdom of heaven, are easily overlooked— seeming so ordinary and nearly invisible as a mustard seed or granules of yeast.
Both the tiny mustard seed that grows into a giant shrub in which birds make their nests, and the bit of yeast which invades, transforms and swells a large quantity of flour into something even greater— both of these yield results far outstripping their initial size and visibility.
Truly present, but practically invisible, our Lord and his kingdom have changed the world.
The liturgy [fourth preface of Easter] of the Lord tells us:
In him a new age has dawned,
the long reign of sin is ended,
a broken world has been renewed,
and man is once again made whole.

On the surface, the facts of life and the ways of men appear mostly unchanged.
But in our Lord, a new meaning, and therefore also a changed reality, are both present and at work in the world, yet still as invisible as mustard seeds or yeast.
What our Lord has accomplished in his own person is real, is now present and at work.
It will be revealed in its fullness when he returns.
It is the same with his Eucharist that we now celebrate.
Here is the mustard seed of heaven, among whose branches God gives us a home to dwell in.
Here is the yeast of heaven which changes even our mortal bodies from grain which has been dried, beaten, winnowed and ground, making of them living bread for God.
Here are the Risen Body and Living Blood of our Lord, hidden in appearances, yet giving newness of life and true hope if we but believe and live as he taught us.

That God Be Glorified in All


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