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 11, 2006

For Tuesday of the Fourteenth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

[I am away until Thursday, and am posting these homilies ahead of time.]

Matthew 9:32-38

Today in his Gospel we see how the Lord looks at mankind.
Everywhere he goes, he is moved to heartfelt pity seeing that people are “troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.”
The kinds of sheep that human beings of old chose, kept, bred and raised became, long ago, unable to survive away from the care of human beings.
Our breeds of tame sheep are practically as dependent as children on us.
The Gospel today might just as well have said “children” rather than “sheep”
At the sight of the crowds,
the heart of Jesus was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like children without father and mother.

“Troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd,” or like children without father and mother.
“Troubled and abandoned.”
Jesus would speak for mankind from the cross.
My God, my God!
Why have you abandoned me?

“Troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd,” or like children without father and mother.
Once more from the cross, Jesus would take our part.
Father!
Forgive them!
They do not know not what they are doing.

“Forgive them,” for the Father has not abandoned mankind.
Rather, mankind has abandoned the Father and killed his Son.
There are so many who are troubled and abandoned, but few true shepherds, few true fathers and few true mothers of mankind.
So the Lord tells us to pray the Father to send out workers into the fields and pastures, towns and villages.
The Son of God himself came to care for the troubled and abandoned human race.
Today his Gospel also tells us how he cares for mankind.
The ability to speak sets God, angels and man apart from sheep or any beast.
So today in the Gospel we see the Good Shepherd of mankind give the dignity of speech back to a man whom a demon has silenced.
In the Gospel today, the True Shepherd of mankind goes to all the towns and villages, teaching in the houses of worship, telling the crowds the good news of their Father and King, and curing all who are not well.
He comes, he travels, he searches, he teaches, he cares.
Still, he leaves us free to abandon him.
He is coming to us now in his Eucharist.
He wants to do the best and the most for us.
We may receive him today, but we need to choose to stay close to him wherever we go, whatever we do, whatever we think and whatever we say.

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The eleventh of July is the memorial of St. Benedict in the universal calendar of the Church.

For my description of life in a Benedictine monastery click on:
monks.

For my ideas about basics of Benedictine spirituality for people who don’t live inside a monastery, click on:
oblates.

UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All







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