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 15, 2006

For Wednesday of the Thirty-Second Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Luke 17:11-19

“Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
In that question, Jesus is claiming to be God.
The newly healed Samaritan leper had just come back, glorifying God in a loud voice, and has thrown himself facedown at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
However, in order to gain legal permission to rejoin public society, he still had to go see the priests, as Jesus told him, just like the other nine lepers.
What would the priests do?
They would examine the lepers to certify that they were now healed.
Then the priests would offer up two sacrifices for each man.
One sacrifice would atone for sin.
The other sacrifice would offer thanks to God.
That is ironic.
Jesus knew the ten healed lepers would be offering thanksgiving sacrifices to God.
Still, he asked, “Was no one found to return and give praise to ME— GOD— except this foreigner?”
Now the newly-healed foreign leper goes off to join the other nine newly-healed lepers and the priests to offer atonement for sin and thanksgiving for salvation.
SALVATION AND SIN.
THANKSGIVING AND ATONEMENT.
GRACE AND TRUTH.
These are the two poles between which stretches the whole spectrum of the spiritual life.
GRACE?
God is gracious.
God is good.
He made us.
We are alive.
God is merciful.
We are forgiven.
For grace we are grateful.
TRUTH?
God is truth.
At times we act falsely.
So when we meet God, at times we are drawn to atone, repent, convert.
SALVATION AND SIN.
THANKSGIVING AND ATONEMENT.
GRACE AND TRUTH— the two poles between which stretches the whole spectrum of the spiritual life and our experience of God.
GRACE AND TRUTH.
Here in the Eucharist we find the same.
Salvation because we are sinners.
Thanksgiving for love, for life, for mercy and salvation.
Atonement for our sins.
GRACE AND TRUTH.
Grace and Truth coming to meet us.
Grace and Truth offering themselves up for us.
Grace and Truth inviting us into themselves.
How fitting it would be to join the Samaritan leper before the altar today, lying facedown with adoring joy, gratitude and praise at the feet of Jesus Lord and God.
At least we lift up our hearts.

UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All







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