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.

October 20, 2006

For Friday of the Twenty-Eighth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Luke 12:1-7

Five times today in his Gospel, our Lord has spoken about “fear” or being “afraid.”
Twice he told us not to fear.
However, three times he told us to be afraid indeed.
In the middle of this lesson about fear, Jesus speaks of the one who has the power not only to kill, but also to cast into Gehenna, into the place of never-ending fire.
Jesus says, “yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.”
Almighty God has freely chosen to bring matter into existence out of nothing, to give it form, life, a human soul, and thus create each human person.
He does it all without need or obligation.
There is no explanation for it other than God’s absolute freedom, power, goodness and love.
The opening prayer of the Mass today asks, “Lord … make your love the foundation of our lives.”
That is a paradox, for the Lord’s love is the only reason we exist and live at all.
The Lord’s love is already the cause and foundation of our existence and our lives.
That we can be killed and cast into hell is not so great a cause of perplexity as is the mystery that God has created us at all— a mystery of his freedom, power, goodness and love.
Today in his Gospel, Jesus describes God as so caring that he counts one by one the hairs of our heads as if each were a treasure.
God is power, glory and infinity itself; and yet he brought us into being out of nothing, he esteems, chooses and desires us as treasure.
Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.
Do not be afraid!

This mystery of God’s almighty goodness and love calls us, invites us to faith, attracts us out of the grasp of fear and into the embrace of gratitude and wonder.
Wonder and gratitude are the essence of worship.
Wonder and gratitude are the essence of holy lives.
Wonder and gratitude are aspects of fulfillment and happiness.
Wonder and gratitude are the deep thoughts and deep feelings the prayers of the Mass constantly voice.
The wonder and gratitude that Jesus himself lovingly offers to his Father, these are the food and drink he gives us by his Body and Blood.

That God Be Glorified in All


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