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 16, 2006

For Wednesday of the Nineteenth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Matthew 18:15-20

What is it to be two or three gathered in the name of the Lord?
Today in his Gospel the Lord is speaking not to a crowd, but to his DISCIPLES only; and he uses the word “CHURCH”.
Speaking to his disciples as his “CHURCH”, he expects them to act and pray as those who are “gathered in his name.”
We begin every Mass by gathering, invoking the name of the Lord— Father, Son and Holy Spirit— while we make the SIGNUM CRUCIS— the Sign of the Cross.
At the CRUCIfixion of the Lord, at the most literally CRUCIAL moment, only Mary his mother, a few other women and John his friend and apostle dared gather in the Lord’s NAME at the event and sign of his cross.
Out of this small group, the Lord singled out just two, and put them together as if these two were the closest to him in NAME and in deed.
They were his mother and his apostle John.
From his cross the Lord said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your, son!”
Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!”
It was from the cross that Lord assembled the CHURCH in his NAME.
From the cross, he spoke directly to only two other individuals besides Mary and John.
He spoke directly to the repentant thief who was also suffering crucifixion, and he spoke directly to the Father in heaven.
To be two or three gathered in the Lord’s name is not so simple or automatic, and it appears it is not entirely or always our initiative.
Even though the Lord himself promises to be in the midst of those gathered in his name, it still belongs to the Lord alone to judge who are REALLY gathered in his name.
At the most literally CRUCIAL moment— at his CRUCIfixion— the only individuals to whom the Lord spoke directly were the heavenly Father, the repentant thief, Mary his mother and John his favored disciple.
Of these four, the only one whose relationship to Jesus we could fully claim for ourselves would be that of the repentant sinner.
To gather in the Lord’s name and to receive his presence in our midst, we must repent and confess that we are sinners.
Indeed, that is how the Church begins the Mass: confessing that we are sinners.
Then, in the Eucharist, the Sacrament of His Body and Blood Offered in Sacrifice on the Cross, the Lord himself makes good his promise to be in our midst.

That God Be Glorified in All


Anonymous Bob Farrell said...

Any thoughts on how today's reading applies to us now? The violence of it really caught my attention.

Ezekiel's prophesy seems very similar to Moses' reaping of scunyon after the golden calf thingy. Is Ezekiel's prophesy about judgement day?

Also,there was no music of any kind at St. Martin's this morning. Was this based upon some Benedictine liturgical observance or might it have been peculiar to St. Martin's?

12:32 PM  
Blogger Father Stephanos, O.S.B. said...

In a theological sense, all the retributions in the Old Testament are visited upon sin that is then piled onto the shoulders of Christ the Lamb of God.

Perhaps St. Martin's organists and capable cantors were away today.

3:39 PM  

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