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 27, 2006

For Thursday of the Sixteenth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Matthew 13:10-17

When our Lord teaches, he uses parables.
He did so two-thousand years ago.
He does the same for us now, not only through the Scriptures and the Gospel, but also in the liturgy and the sacraments.
As the Word of God become man, Christ himself is a living parable.
Today our fellow disciples in the Gospel ask the Lord why he speaks to the crowds in parables; and we hear the Lord tell us why.
In answer, the Lord speaks of those who HEAR and hear again, but FAIL TO UNDERSTAND, and who SEE and see again, but FAIL TO PERCEIVE.
Though they HEAR and though they SEE, why is it they fail to PERCEIVE and fail to UNDERSTAND?
As the Lord says, they fail to perceive and fail to understand because their HEARTS have grown DULL.
They fail to perceive and understand not only the parables.
They also fail to perceive and understand the Lord himself.
They fail because, as he has told us, their HEARTS have grown DULL, “HEAVY”.
St. Benedict teaches us how HEARTS must learn to remain lightsome and keen or sharp, as opposed to growing dull and heavy.
Our HEARTS must learn to remain lightsome— graceful or grace-filled— and keen— sharp— so that we may always hear and UNDERSTAND, see and PERCEIVE, not only now but also in the life to come.
St. Benedicts teaches us that the school of the Lord’s service is a school for the HEART.
Listen carefully to the
master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your HEART.
Let us open our eyes to the light that comes from God, and our ears to the voice from heaven that every day calls out this charge: “If today you hear his voice, harden not your HEARTS.”

He teaches us that the road which
leads to salvation is bound to be narrow at the outset.
However, he promises that as we progress in a holy way of life and in faith, we shall run on the path of God’s commandments, our hearts overflowing— overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love.
We have a living, personified parable of A HEART OVERFLOWING in the Lord himself and in his Eucharist.
For though in the parable of the altar our eyes see only bread and wine, faith lets the heart PERCEIVE and UNDERSTAND that the Lord’s body and blood are present, and broken and poured out— OVERFLOWING WITH THE INEXPRESSIBLE DELIGHT OF LOVE— for his Father and for us.
In this way he makes himself our communion, our sharing in the life to come.
How blessed are we to celebrate, offer and receive the Eucharist of the Lord.
Many prophets and holy men longed to see what we see, and did not see it, and to hear what we hear and did not hear it.
In the Lord’s Eucharist, blessed are our eyes, for they see, and our ears for they hear.
Blessed, too, are our hearts if we but understand and turn for him to heal us.

That God Be Glorified in All


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