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 03, 2006

For Thursday of the Seventeenth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Matthew 13:47-53

Today in his Gospel, Jesus again tells us a parable about the Kingdom of heaven.
The kingdom takes in all kinds of persons.
That is the way it is for the time being.
At the end of time, the Kingdom of heaven will keep the good, but throw away the bad.
“Throw away”— that is the expression Jesus uses in telling the parable.
The parable is symbolic.
However, Jesus then explains the meaning of the parable.
Thus it will be at the end of the age.
The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.

Until Jesus came, the Old Testament and the Jewish people of God had no idea that the wicked would go off to punishment.
By the time of Jesus, some, not all, of the People of God had begun to believe that God would reward righteous persons by raising them from the dead.
As for wicked persons, the People of God and the Old Testament really thought only that the wicked would simply stay dead in darkness, silence, stillness.
It was Jesus who broke into history with the news that wicked persons would be thrown into what he calls today “the fiery furnace”.
Jesus— NOT the Old Testament— JESUS revealed the eternal punishment of the wicked.
The reality of damnation highlights for us the urgency of the saving work and teaching of Jesus.
The reality of damnation highlights also the urgency of the Eucharist.
This is MY body!

My body GIVEN UP!

For YOU!

This is my BLOOD!

My blood … SHED!

Shed for YOU!

That sins may be FORGIVEN!

Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have NO life in you. [Jn. 6]

If we have no life in us, but only wickedness, then Jesus tells us in his Gospel today that “at the end of the age”:
The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.

To fulfill the eternal salvation he feeds us in his Eucharist, Jesus chose to undergo a hellish death.
Having undergone death for our eternal salvation, Jesus offers his Eucharist to us as the New and Everlasting COVENANT.
Covenant!
A binding partnership of life-and-death fidelity!
Though we receive this Covenant of the Eucharist with rightful joy, we must also respect it with utmost gravity.
Gravity: the Kingdom of heaven, or the fiery furnace!
Let us never treat lightly the eternally saving gift of the Eucharist!

UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All







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