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.

December 11, 2006

For Monday of the Second Week of Advent

Luke 5:17-26
Isaiah 35:1-10

The paralyzed man, his helpful friends, and the whole jam-packed crowd got more from Jesus than they expected or even believed.
No one asked for forgiveness of sins.
Yet the first thing the Lord did was to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Then, in order to demonstrate that he indeed had divine power and authority to forgive sins, he spoke once more, healing the man of his paralysis, by saying simply, “Rise, take up your bed and go home.”
Christ Jesus our Lord, True God and True Man— purely spiritual since he is God, and truly a man of flesh and blood born two thousand years ago— he was, is and always will be savior of both soul and body.
He has demonstrated this fact today in both forgiving the sins and healing the body of the paralyzed man.
We are neither soul alone nor body alone, but both together.
When Christ returns as judge at the end of the world, it will be not only to judge souls for their sins and lead holy ones into heaven.
He will come also to restore the bodies of his faithful ones in a life that language barely begins to describe by calling it “a new heaven AND A NEW EARTH.”
Whenever we profess our faith by acknowledging baptism for the forgiveness of sins, we also declare that “we look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come”.
Today in the Gospel we saw our Lord God and Savior forgive sins and restore a man’s body from the death of paralysis.
We look forward to his return when he will do the same: forgive sins and restore bodies.
Later in the Mass today, in what is called “the preface” [Preface of Advent I]we will speak to the Father about the day of his Son’s return to us.
Now we watch for the day,
hoping that the salvation promised will be ours
when Christ our Lord will come again in his glory.

That prayer, by the way, is one thousand four hundred years old, and was originally used on the feast of Christ’s Ascension, his passing from sight into heaven from whence he will return.
When he does return at the end of the present world, it will be to fulfill what he began long ago as told in the Gospel today, and that he continues to do and promise in the sacraments and the Eucharist: save us from our sins, and restore to our bodies health and life.

That God Be Glorified in All


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