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 26, 2006

For Saturday of the Twentieth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Matthew 23:1-12

The kind of faithfulness and integrity that Jesus lays upon all of us today in his Gospel allows no room for squirming out of the way of tough Church teachings.
We hear Jesus say today:
The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you.

That is a scandalous Gospel.
Do and observe all things whatsoever they—
THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES—
tell you.

The Lord in his Gospel today tells us to be faithful and obedient to the teaching of hypocrites, Pharisees and scribes of the law.
Every Sunday at Mass, we all announce our commitment to the teaching Church when we stand up and say we “believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.”
If we don’t want to the Church to hold us accountable, then let us honestly repudiate the baptism the Church gave us.
Do and observe all things whatsoever they—
THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES—
tell you.

If we would refuse, then let us be honest enough to throw away today’s Gospel, and write something else that we could accept.
In his Gospel, Jesus our God commands us to give him everything that is in us— without condition, hesitation or limit— even when some of those who remind us to love God may be hypocrites, Pharisees and hollow, barely legal functionaries.
When scribes and Pharisees authentically teach what God teaches through Moses— the scribes and Pharisees teach us how to deal with sin, how to avoid it, how to remain free to love God.
So Jesus tells us today.
The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.

Let us follow instead the example of Christ.
Today in his Eucharist he will hand over his body and blood to our bodies and blood, to our hearts, to our souls, to our minds.
Today in his Eucharist, the Lord our God will love us with all his entire heart, soul and mind.

UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All







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