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.

November 19, 2006

For the Thirty-Third Ordinary Sunday of the Church Year

Mark 13:24-32
Daniel 12:1-3
Hebrews 10:11-14,18

Today, we hear an ancient prophecy to the Hebrew people, as well as a less ancient letter to the same people.
The Old Testament prophecy and the New Testament letter both speak of the final and everlasting triumph of those whom God has consecrated to himself and freed from sin.
Then, in the Gospel today, the Lord gives us part of a longer lesson about the end of the world and the coming of the kingdom of God.
In the Gospel today, we hear the Lord say to those persons who were with him nearly two thousand years ago:
Amen, I say to you,
this generation will not pass away
until all these things have taken place.

THAT generation passed away nearly two thousand years ago.
THAT generation saw the end of the world and the coming of the kingdom of God.
The world’s LAST “day” began when the Final and Everlasting Word of God was born in Bethlehem of Judea.
The world’s LAST “day” ended when the Son of Man died on a cross.
The kingdom of God came to human birth in Christ some two thousand years ago.
The kingdom of God rose from the dead, clothed in undying human flesh in the Resurrection of Christ.
However, the generation that saw the birth, death and resurrection of Christ in Palestine is not the only generation that has seen the end of the world and the coming of the kingdom of God.
Christian faith and baptism see the end of the world and the coming of God’s kingdom in EVERY generation— in EVERY person who believes and is baptized.
When Christ was born, and died and rose from the dead, our human race was RE created and reborn in HIM.
Christ is the New Adam— HE is now the head of the human race.
By our baptism, we were amputated from the first Adam, and were reborn as descendants and members of Christ.
Whenever any person is baptized, the world of old Adam comes to an end, and the kingdom of God in Christ receives a newborn citizen.
In baptism, the guilt of Adam’s original sin is cancelled in us, while the holiness of the Spirit of God our Father in Christ is given to us.
In the sacraments of Christ, the end of the world and the definitive coming of God’s kingdom are real and already present.
The end of the world and the coming of God’s kingdom are already real in Christ, in the sacraments and in the spirits of the baptized faithful.
Nonetheless, the eyes of our bodies and the textbooks and calendars of world history have not yet seen it.
So, in teaching us to pray, the Lord himself has told us to ask for the coming of the kingdom— the coming that will bring with it the resurrection of the BODY.
Christ himself, his resurrection and our salvation in him are not only SPIRITUAL realities.
Christ himself, his resurrection and our salvation in him are also BODILY realities.
When we proclaim our faith with the words of the Creed, we not only acknowledge baptism for the forgiveness of sins: we also look for the resurrection of the DEAD— and the life of the world to come.
Until that takes place, what are we to do, and how are we to live?
We are to pray and keep vigil, living as those who have already died to the world.
We are to live for God and his kingdom— God who lives for us.
In the sacrament of the Eucharist, to which we flock until the end of time— in the sacrament of the Eucharist, Christ our King and God has died for us, and lives for us.
We have no need to look for other signs that the world is coming to an end.
Here in the Eucharist, the bread and wine of the world— and even the world itself— already come to an end.
In the Eucharist, Christ is already returning and always present.
Receiving him in his Eucharist, we bear within us both the judgment of God and communion with God.
Because he comes to us and is within us through his Eucharist, we are to live both as those already subject to judgment and as those already in communion with God.
Judgment and communion!
After the Eucharist and beyond the Eucharist, there really is nothing else in world history.

That God Be Glorified in All


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