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 28, 2006

For Monday of the Twenty-First Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Matthew 23:13-22

Today is the second of four weekdays in which we hear Jesus in his Gospel uttering a chain of miseries (“woes”) onto the scribes and Pharisees.
He calls them hypocrites who neither enter the Kingdom of heaven, nor allow others to enter.
For the scribes and Pharisees, the gold in the temple is better than the temple, and the sacrifices burned on the altar are better than the altar.
As Jesus speaks of this, he affirms that the temple consecrates and sanctifies what is offered in it, and that the altar consecrates and sanctifies what is offered upon it.
Jesus sees the temple and the altar as places and instruments for handing things over to God his Father.
To join Jesus inside the temple, and to join him at the altar, is to join him in handing ourselves over to the heavenly Father.
To do otherwise is to invite Jesus to include us among those he violently ejected from the Temple.
He wants us to be consecrated and sanctified by coming to his Father’s house and to his altar.
That will happen only if we sincerely join the Eucharistic Christ who gives up his body and his blood to purify his people, and to bind them and his Father to each other in a new and everlasting covenant.
If we are not here to join Christ in offering ourselves up in sacrifice, then we are like the scribes and Pharisees in the Gospel today to whom he says:
Woe to you
You lock the Kingdom of heaven
You do not enter

That God Be Glorified in All


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