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.

August 11, 2006

For Friday of the Eighteenth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Matthew 16:24-28

Some of those who heard Christ speak these words aloud also later saw him risen from the dead as the King of eternal life.
You and I who now receive these words know and believe in Christ the King and his resurrection.
Today in this Gospel, Christ is not telling us a parable.
He is not speaking in symbols today.
He is telling us what shall plainly happen.
He says he will return with his angels and his Father’s glory.
He will repay each person according to that person’s conduct.
Some shall have forfeited eternal life, because they preferred what the world offers instead of what Christ offers.
Others shall have gained salvation for eternal life in glory, because they freely chose to suffer whenever that was the cost of imitating Christ.
As he says it today:
Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross,
and follow me.

Suffering for Christ can take the shape of accepting minor inconveniences for the sake of simple honesty, faithfulness and generosity in ordinary and little things.
Choosing to suffer for Christ can also go so far as accepting martyrdom rather than abandoning the way of Christ.
Whatever the case may, to wish to follow Christ into the eternal resurrection is to make God in Christ the highest priority in all that we do.
As he says it today:
whoever loses his life for MY sake will find it.

Here in his Eucharist, the Son of God has chosen to “lose” his life for the glory of his Father and for our sake.
He loses his life so that he may find us at his side beyond death, in his Father’s glory, together with his angels, in his Kingdom.
Christ has opened the way.
The choice to follow belongs to us.

That God Be Glorified in All


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