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 13, 2006

For Wednesday of the Second Week of Advent

Matthew 11:28-30
Isaiah 40:25-31

In the first reading, we hear God tell us:
They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength,
they will soar as with… wings.
They will run and not grow weary,
walk and not grow faint.

Then, in the Gospel, the Lord invites us to receive from him a yoke that gives rest and ease.
That is a paradox, because a yoke is for pulling a load, a burden.
However, just before speaking today’s Gospel, Christ unfolded the meaning of the yoke of rest and ease he offers us.
My Father has handed all things over to me.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.

The restful, easy and light “yoke” that Christ invites us to come and receive from him is Christ’s own intimate knowledge of the Father, Christ’s own intimate communion with the Father.
Come to me,
all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.

We can find rest and ease in intimate knowledge of the Father and intimate communion with him.
Our temptations, our sins and our sinfulness make for labor and a heavy burden.
Temptation and our sins make war against our knowledge of the Father and against our union with the Father.
Temptation and our sins also make war against our knowledge of our authentic selves as we came from the hand of God.
Temptation and sin wage war against our own personal spiritual freedom.
The load of sin, the entire history of sin, all the effects of sin, the complete burden of penalty for all sin— Christ shouldered and carried off that entire load— the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world did so by shouldering the yoke of the cross unto death.
Only after having labored under that burden did he arrive at the lightsome glory of the resurrection.
Newly risen from the dead, he again spoke of intimacy, knowledge and communion with the Father.
I am ascending to my Father and your Father.

In the end the yoke of Christ gives ease, rest and light.
Learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart.

Take my yoke upon you….

my yoke
my body
my blood
given up for you
shed for you
that sins may be forgiven

In his Eucharist, he still takes our burden onto his own shoulders.

That God Be Glorified in All


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