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.

September 28, 2006

For Thursday of the Twenty-Fifth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Luke 9:7-9

No one would ever think of imitating either King Herod or Judas Iscariot.
However, Judas at least suffered remorse for his crime and sank to the depths of despair and suicide.
We may find we could even pity Judas.
King Herod, on the other hand, remains an entirely despicable character.
Nonetheless, Herod’s perplexity and curiosity can remind us that the life and work of Christ were extraordinary— able to capture and hold the attention of a king.
It might be that a daily newspaper catches and holds our attention more than time spent praying in a spirit of wonder and gratitude over our redemption in the life and work of Christ.
Herod had heard that a certain Jesus was going about healing all sorts of disabilities and diseases.
This Jesus had even raised people from the dead.
Some were saying that this miracle worker was the great prophet Elijah returning after hundreds of years; or that he was the resurrected John the Baptist whom Herod himself had murdered.
All this news perplexed Herod.
He was “bent out of shape”, disturbed, amazed.
We have heard the same things Herod heard.
We have heard, we acknowledge, we believe and we venerate even more things concerning Christ than Herod could ever begin to suspect.
How good it would be if only we were more like Herod in being disturbed, bent with amazement, wonder and curiosity.
Christ himself prefers us either hot or cold, but never merely room temperature.
It is completely unnecessary that any human being, animal or thing in the world and in history should exist at all.
None of it and none of us had to be or has to be.
Creation is a mystery of God’s freedom, his will, his grace and his love.
In the face of it, we should be filled with perplexity, amazement, wonder and gratitude.
However, there is even more.
In the face of man’s forgetfulness, rebellion, sin and ingratitude, God freely stooped down to become the slave who with his own life and death both undoes man’s sin and suffering and re-creates man as God’s partner in glory.
That is an even greater mystery of God’s freedom, his will, his grace, his love— a greater mystery that not only did not have to be, but by all rights should NOT have been.
In the face of it, we should be filled with boundless perplexity, amazement, wonder and gratitude.
The mystery of our redemption and glorification through Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection is so perplexing, so completely beyond the bounds of our capacity, that we must ultimately surrender and “borrow”, as it were, Christ’s own wondrous gratitude, Christ’s own wonderful sacrifice in order worthily to thank the Father for all that he has done in creating and redeeming us.
Here in the Eucharist, Christ in his personal gratitude and sacrifice is really present.
Here, God re-creates us.
Here, God redeems us.
Here, through Christ, with him and in him we give God fitting honor, glory and thanksgiving for all that he has done for us.

That God Be Glorified in All


Blogger Church Of The Lord English Ministry said...

Amen to that Father Stephanos. It is and will be an eternal impossibility for us to ever understand the inner workings of our Lord, yet, He created us with intellect that we may spend our lives pondering, questioning, enlightening ourselves of His love and mercy.

We hope you do not mind us linking your blog onto ours. It will be a blessing to all those who seek answers to grow as a believer of Christ.

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