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 09, 2006

For Saturday of the First Week of Advent

Matthew 9:35-10:1,5a,6-8
Isaiah 30:19-21,23-26

Today in his Gospel, we hear briefly what Christ said and did in all the towns and villages, what he thought about the crowds, what he felt for them and what he sent his apostles to do for the crowds.
Four things: what he said, what he thought, what he felt, and what he did.
First, what did he say in all the towns and villages?
The Gospel simply reports he taught in the houses of worship and proclaimed the good news of the kingdom— or kingship— of God.
Perhaps he read to them the same prophecy of Isaiah that we heard today.
No more will you weep.
The Lord God, the Holy One, will be gracious to you when you cry out.
He will give you the food and drink you need.
With your own eyes you shall see your Teacher.
The Lord binds up the wounds of his people.

If he didn’t actually read the prophecy to them, we do know that he fulfilled it, for today the Gospel simply says he cured “every disease and illness.”
Then, what did he think about the crowds and feel for them?
We know that, too.
However, he probably still thinks and feels the same things about the entire human crowd today.
He thought— or he thinks even today— that the crowds are troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd, or— since he is announcing the kingdom of heaven— that the crowds are troubled and abandoned like people without a king who might lead them.
With that thought, his heart is moved with pity.
What does he do about it?
He calls his disciples; he calls us.
He tells us, “Ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”
That’s odd.
Christ is our Master, our Lord.
Yet he tells us to ask the “master”— his Father— to send workers for his Father’s harvest.
Then, immediately acting on his Father’s authority, acting in his Father’s name, Christ himself sends his twelve disciples to the harvest.
He “gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.”
He sends us to bear the Father’s Holy Spirit within us, that we might drive out unholy spirits and make people whole.
Let us ask ourselves then, do we bring people inspiration to be holy— do we inspire them to wholeness and integrity?
Through his first twelve disciples, he tells us to “go to the lost sheep.”
We must ask ourselves, do lost sheep find the way because of us, or not?
The Shepherd tells us, “As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”
The Kingdom!
So … we have a king.
Do we live the mission he has given us?
Are we known to be servants of God?
Here today at his altar, our King fulfills for us the prophecy of Isaiah.
The Lord God, the Holy One, gracious to you when you cry out,
gives you the food you need,
the drink for which you thirst.
With your own eyes you shall see your Teacher.

May our lives make him known— for that is our mission.
May our lives make him known to the world— to the world that he pities.
May our lives make him known in all his glory, mercy, goodness and fatherhood!

That God Be Glorified in All


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