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 24, 2006

For Tuesday of the Twenty-Ninth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Luke 12:35-38

Servants watching for their Lord’s return are careful to complete whatever work he gave them before his departure.
Waiting for the Lord is also a description of prayer.
To wait in prayer is to be aware that something necessary and desirable is lacking to us, and that it comes in the person of the Lord.
The Lord in his Gospel tells us to be on the lookout for him, expecting him, staying awake for him, searching and hoping for him.
Christ told us that he would be with us always, but also that he would return one day for us to see him eye to eye— not merely in spiritual vision, but also with our flesh and blood eyeballs.
The Eucharist is one way that he is really with us always.
It is also his ever-present returning.
Blessed are those servants
whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.
Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself,
[he will] have them recline at table,
and [he himself will] proceed to wait on them.

In the Eucharist, Christ the Master waits on his own servants.
In the Eucharist, even though he comes among us as one who serves, he remains both the standard and the judge of our service.
Blessed are those servants
whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.

As the standard of our service, Christ in his Eucharist freely places himself utterly at our disposal, ready to be consumed for our good.
Yet, in this he is also already our judge, for he measures us by what we freely dare to receive.
When we receive him in his Eucharist, we hand ourselves into his judgment.
Yet, our Divine Judge, who is “Almighty-in-His-Love”— Innocent and Pure— steals a place among the guilty who have been condemned by their own choices.
He freely took our guilt upon himself, and freely chose to be condemned in our place.
He, the Lord, freely chose to be pierced and pinned by the nails of the cross.
He, the Master, freely chose to be cut, stabbed open by the blade of the lance.
He freely chose to be punished in our stead.
He, our God, freely chose the sinner’s death.
This is He who comes as Judge in the Eucharist, pronouncing not merely a judgment of mercy, but one of SUBSTITUTION:
he freely chooses to stand in our place—
holy and obedient—
to suffer our punishment,
so that we might stand together with him in HIS place—
holy and obedient—
and have a share in his freedom and glory as newly freeborn sons and daughters of the Father.
So it is that in the Eucharist we also rise with Him from the dead.
It is as the Risen and Returned One that He tells us who are already in Him:
Be watchful and ready!
I am already here.

That God Be Glorified in All


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