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 04, 2006

For Wednesday of the Thirteenth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Matthew 8:28-34

Today in his gospel we witness the Lord at work in pagan territory.
The population of the nearby pagan town goes out to see what has happened.
When they meet the person responsible for the whole turn of events they are so terrified they beg him to leave their country.
These frightened people do not know who Jesus is.
Paradoxically, the demons immediately recognized the full identity of Jesus, and shrieked at him: “What have you to do with us, SON OF GOD?”
These demons that Jesus drives off are among the very first individuals in the Gospel to proclaim the divinity of Jesus.
“Jesus is the Son of God.”
Christian believers have carried this truth throughout the world and down through the centuries.
Here in this church at this very hour we are celebrating the same mystery of salvation and worship that Christians now celebrate throughout the whole world and have been celebrating for nearly two thousand years.
Whether here and now, or two thousand years ago in Palestine, Jesus is the Son of God yesterday, today and forever, present and bringing salvation and true worship in his words and his actions.
We recognize him when his Gospel is proclaimed in our churches.
We recognize him and acknowledge him to be our Lord in his Body and Blood offered upon our altars in the sacrament of the Eucharist.
He is God.
We are his, and he possesses us more completely than any legion of demons ever could.
Yet, unlike the demons in today’s gospel, he leaves our minds and bodies free.
He goes even further.
He invites us body and mind to have a share in the freedom of God.
Daily, then, and in every moment of our lives, each of us must freely choose again and again to belong to the Son of God and to do what he commands.
For that reason we daily avail ourselves of his saving will, his saving presence and his saving power in the sacrament of his Body and Blood.
Little by little we leave our “pagan” lives, and we come here, as we have come today, to meet him, not in terror, not begging him to go away, but rather bowing down in worship, welcoming him and crying out:
Come, Lord Jesus!
Stay with us, Son of God!

That God Be Glorified in All


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