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 21, 2006

For the Twenty-First of December

Luke 1:39-45

As Mary went in haste into the hill country, her body carried the growing flesh and blood of God.
God entered the world of time and space.
He took on the nature, flesh and blood of our humanity.
Even as an embryonic baby he had the power of the Spirit to make known his secret presence and his divinity, and to cause another unborn baby to kick for joy.
Mary has been carrying a Child of flesh and blood for only a short time.
However, the Person who is that Child is God from before the creation of the universe.
That is the unbelievable scandal and glory of God’s plan for us.
He does not remain entirely beyond us.
He does not sprinkle our salvation into our souls from beyond the sky.
He has come to be our salvation IN THE FLESH.
In doing so, our Creator shows his primordial judgment that the world and ALL FLESH is good.
Our world IS deeply afflicted by sin and suffering, so it can be easy to think the flesh is only a thing of sin and suffering— only that and nothing more.
That is not the truth about us.
It is not the plan of God.
He comes to turn upside down this world of sin and suffering.
His plan, then, looks upside down to the world.
The living God shows the truth of his boundless love by extending himself in his Son really and truly into OUR nature, OUR flesh and OUR blood.
In his love he pours himself freely and completely into every abyss of sin and suffering that we must undergo.
In his freedom and the excess of his love, he personally undergoes the worst of our human lot: to die and to know the God-forsaken abandonment brought on by sin.
He has taken into his embrace and into his very self the whole bloody spectrum of human misery.
Nothing in the world is a barrier to God’s personal real presence and love.
Mary’s virginity was and is no barrier.
Your sins and mine are no barrier.
Human life is no barrier.
Death is no barrier.
God has taken all of it to himself.
He has personally taken on everything that is human, both the best and the worst.
In return, it is his plan to have us completely take on the glory of his divinity.
That is his plan.
Now in his Eucharist, he lays out his plan in the form of food and drink.
In this sacrament, bread and wine give way to the power of the Spirit and the Son of God in his real flesh and blood.
God comes to displace sin in our own flesh and blood so that we might be revealed as sons and daughters of God, bearers of his Spirit.
We watch for the day when Christ will return and bring this plan to its final fulfillment in all the sons and daughters of God.

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The Preface of the Mass for December 18-24

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give him thanks and praise.
Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,
we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

His future coming was proclaimed by all the prophets.
The virgin mother bore him in her womb with love beyond all telling.
John the Baptist was his herald
and made him known when at last he came.
In his love Christ has filled us with joy
as we prepare to celebrate his birth,
so that when he comes he may find us watching in prayer,
our hearts filled with wonder and praise.

And so, with all the choirs of angels in heaven
we proclaim your glory
and join in their unending hymn of praise:
Holy, holy, holy….

That God Be Glorified in All


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