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 23, 2006

For Wednesday of the Twentieth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Matthew 20:1-16

At the end of the parable today, the Lord points out his intended message concerning God’s sovereign freedom and his generosity.
God acts with complete freedom; and God is generous to the point of seeming irrationality.
The first point, however— that God is free to do what he chooses— contradicts the presuppositions we make in listening to the parable.
Whereas the vineyard owner owes payment to his workers, God OWES us NOTHING.
Since he owes us nothing, what he gives to any of us is an act of pure grace and mysterious generosity.
To both the first and the last he owes nothing.
To both the rich and the poor he owes nothing.
To both the elderly and the newborn he owes nothing.
To both the industrious and the lazy he owes nothing.
To both the wise and the foolish he owes nothing.
Owing nothing— and needing nothing— God is mysterious in the freedom with which he gives all that he is to those whom he has created out of nothing.
It is an act of love.
The most and the best we can do is to fall down in grateful wonder and worship.
We forever owe God infinitely more than we even begin to be worth.
How can we repay the Lord for all that he has done for us?
The repayment we make to the Lord— even that comes from God.
In his Son Jesus Christ, God himself becomes the payment of our debt.
Wise or foolish, young and old, rich and poor alike, we have no more perfect option— indeed we have no other option than to throw ourselves completely into Christ’s act of personal sacrifice.
In receiving the Eucharist with freedom and the right intention, it is we who are consumed, taken up together with Christ in his sacrifice of perfect gratitude and worship— we are consumed, taken up together with Christ into the presence of the Father.
In the kingdom of the Father, the first are no longer first, and the last are no longer last.
All have a debt to pay to God, but none are able to pay, except Christ alone.
All have a debt to pay, and Christ alone has paid for all.
What we have left is the mission of spending our lives to worship and imitate God’s goodness to us.
Our lives need to flow out of the Eucharistic worship we offer to God.
Our lives need to point to the Eucharistic worship we offer to God.

That God Be Glorified in All


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