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.

April 15, 2006

For Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord

John 20:1-9

All four Gospels— Matthew, Mark, Luke and John— tell us that Mary Magdalene met the risen Lord outside his tomb.
He gave her a message for his apostles.
Go and tell my BROTHERS to go to Galilee,
and there they will see me.
… And say to them,
I am ascending to MY Father and YOUR Father,
to MY God and YOUR God.

Before he died on the cross, Christ had never called his apostles his BROTHERS .
Only now— risen from the dead— only now does he call them BROTHERS.
That is a sign that what is HIS in the resurrection is THEIRS also.
Go to my BROTHERS
and tell them …

MY Father: YOUR Father.
MY Resurrection: YOUR Resurrection.

The apostles, the BROTHERS of the Risen Christ, have handed down in the Church the means for us to become brothers and sisters of Christ— how we may all share what belongs to Christ the Risen Son of God.
St. Peter the apostle left us the following instructions [see Acts 2:36-41].
Repent and be baptized,
every one of you …
for the forgiveness of your sins;
and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
For the promise is made to you and to your children
and to all those far off,
whomever the Lord our God will call.

Baptism for the forgiveness of sins is how we become brothers and sisters of the risen Son of God.
You and I who have received baptism are the brothers and sisters of the Risen Son of God.
We stand between him and the unbelieving world.
He sends us to announce him to the world.
In baptism we all receive the same mission Mary Magdalene received.
She went to the Risen Lord’s brothers, and announced to them:
I HAVE SEEN THE LORD.

By the power of baptism and the Holy Spirit, it belongs to us as much as to Mary Magdalene to say to the world: I HAVE SEEN THE LORD.
Nothing stands between the Risen Lord and those who are his brothers and sisters by faith and baptism.
Here, in the Eucharist of his real flesh and blood, we truly meet the Risen Son of God.
Because of the Eucharist, we— the baptized brothers and sisters of the Risen Son of God— we may leave this church today and announce: I HAVE SEEN THE LORD.
May our lives make that obvious to the whole world!

- - - -

The Preface for this Mass (the "Easter Perspective" on the Liturgy of the Eucharist)

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We praise you with greater joy than ever on this Easter day, when Christ became our paschal sacrifice. He is the true Lamb who took away the sins of the world. By dying he destroyed our death; by rising he restored our life. 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....

UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All







For the Season of the Resurrection: The Daily Evening Hymn of the Church

AD COENAM AGNI
This is a poetic translation of the version Benedictine monasteries have sung for centuries.

Unto the feast spread by the Lamb
We come in robes of white,
And for the Red Sea’s passage sing
To Christ, our King of Might:

Whose Body, offered on the Cross,
As food he deigned to give,
And as our drink his Precious Blood,
That we for God might live:

Protected on Passover Eve
From the destroyer’s blade,
And rescued from the galling chains
That Pharaoh’s fear had made.

Christ is our true Passover Lamb
Whose Blood for sin was shed,
Whose Body, too, was offered up
As pure, unleavened Bread.

O truly worthy Offering,
Who shattered hell’s dark might,
Who brought release to captive souls
And entrance into light.

As Victim from the nether world
And tomb we see Christ rise;
He puts the tyrant into chains,
And opens Paradise.

We ask thee, Author of all things,
Throughout this Easter glee
To guard thy faithful flock, and it
From death’s attack to free.

All glory be to thee, O Lord,
Arisen from the dead,
To Father and the Spirit too
Be thanks forever said.

UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All







A Second Homily for Good Friday in the Celebration of the Passion of the Lord

John 18:1 to 19:42

Now … and at the hour of his death— the death of Christ, what has changed?
What is new for me as his disciple?
What am I to do as his disciple?
What are you to do as his disciple?
There is only one thing the crucified Christ tells his disciple.
Behold, your mother.

Immediately, the Gospel of Christ tells us,
from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

As a disciple of Christ, I am to take up my own cross and follow him.
I am to obey and live his Gospel.
If I do that, then, as Christ would have it, my home— my life— is now to include his mother.
What is it to have his mother in my home, in my life?
Who is this Woman?
What does she do?
What does she say?
In the Gospel of Christ, she is the first witness of the misery of man and woman at Cana in Galilee.
She sees it, and she intervenes.
She already has faith in her Son, and she prays.
They have no wine.

If the mother of Christ is living in my home and alive in my way of life, then I too will be a compassionate witness to human misery.
I too will act from faith, and with prayer I too will bring Christ and the attention of Christ to the misery of men and women.
Like the mother of Christ, I too will stand with the servants of Christ and tell them:
Do whatever he tells you.

If I have followed my master to his cross, I will find his mother there, as the Gospel shows me.
The master will see and speak first to her, but only to tell her about me.
Woman, behold your son.

Then he will speak to me.
Behold, your mother.

That’s all he will say to me from his cross.
Then, if I follow his Gospel, and take her home with me from the hour of the cross, and let her live in my life, then the Gospel will be fulfilled in me.
The Gospel of Cana and the Gospel of Calvary both testify to the intervention of the mother of Christ.
The Gospel of Cana calls itself “the beginning of his signs”.
In the Gospel of Calvary, Christ says, “It is finished”.
In both places— the beginning and the finish— the Gospel testifies that the mother of Christ intervenes, and that the disciple sees the signs and believes.
The Gospel of Cana tells us that the signs of Christ are how he reveals his glory.
Imitating his mother’s compassion, faith, prayer and obedience, I too will join her in recognizing the signs of Christ by which he reveals his glory.
In his Eucharist that he gives through his Church, Christ who died on the cross for me comes to give me the covenant banquet of his glory.

UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All







April 14, 2006

By way of the cross, Christ weds his Church.

Click HERE for it.
UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All







For Good Friday in the Celebration of the Lord's Passion

John 18:1 to 19:42

In his Gospel of his suffering and death, Jesus speaks clearly of having a kingdom— but not of this world.
He says of his royal mission:
I was born and came into the world TO TESTIFY TO THE TRUTH.

Jesus the King says he is a witness and servant of the truth.
After he said that, Pontius Pilate asked him, “What is truth?”
However, Pilate did not bother to wait for an answer.
Jesus had already defined the truth with the life he lived, the work he did, the message he taught and the prayers he offered.
While praying aloud at his Last Supper, Jesus asked his Father to make us holy in the truth.
What IS the truth for which Jesus was born, for which he lived, preached, prayed and died?
Since Jesus asked the Father to make us holy in the truth, what is the truth?
We hear that truth when Jesus prays for us at his Last Supper [see John 17:21-26].
As you, Father, are in me,
and I am in you,
may they also be in us.
I have given them the glory that you, Father, have given me,
that they may be one
even as you, Father, and I are one,
I in them
and you, Father, in me.
You, Father, have sent me
and have loved them
even as you have loved me.
Father,
I desire that they also,
whom you have given me,
may be with me where I am,
to behold my glory that you have given me before the foundation of the world.
I made known to them your name,
and I will make it known,
that the love with which you have loved me may be in them,
and I in them.

From all eternity, Jesus is God— the eternal Son of God the Father.
That is the truth.
Jesus wants us to enjoy the same love that he and the heavenly Father have for each other.
That is also the truth.
The TRUTH is that Jesus has come to give us the same love that belongs to him as the only Son of God.
The truth is that Jesus who is God has come to give us everything that is his.
Father!
I have given THEM the glory that YOU have given ME.
YOU, Father, have loved THEM
even as you have loved ME.
Father,
I desire that they also,
whom you have given me,
may be with me where I am.
Father,
I made known to them your name . . .
that the love with which YOU have loved ME may be in THEM.

Jesus wants us to receive the same love that the Eternal Father gives him.
When Jesus was baptized in the river Jordan, the Father’s voice came out of heaven and said:
This is my Son,
my beloved,
with whom I am well pleased.

The truth is that God says the same thing of each of us in our own baptism.
YOU ARE MY CHILD,
MY BELOVED,
WITH WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED.

In the Body and Blood of Christ Jesus, we eat and drink the Father’s love for his only-begotten, eternal Son.
That is exactly what Jesus said to the Father at the first Eucharist— at the Last Supper.
Father,
I made known to them your name …
that the LOVE with which you have loved me may be IN THEM,
and I IN THEM.

Christ our King sacrifices himself for us, and gives himself to us as food for everlasting life.
From out of the pit of suffering and death, he wants to bring each of us into his own joy as the beloved of the Father.
God has already given, but we must take care that our hearts, minds and actions open up to receive.
How do we open up?
He told how while speaking to Pontius Pilate today.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.

Let us make our lives into an act of listening and saying “Amen” to the voice of Jesus, the King of Truth who gives up his Body and sheds his own Blood so that sinners might join him as the royal sons and daughters of God.

- - - -

Click HERE for a second homily for Good Friday.

UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All







April 12, 2006

For the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday

John 13:1-15
Exodus 12:1-8,11-14
1 Corinthians 11:23-26

In the days of Jesus, his countrymen would never ask any fellow Hebrew, free or slave, to wash the feet of anyone.
That job could go only to a slave from a foreign race.
The Gospel today does not tell us merely that Jesus gave himself that chore.
Rather, the Gospel carefully introduces the INDIGNITY of the job of washing feet by first reciting the immeasurable DIGNITY of Jesus.
Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass ... to the Father.
[Jesus was] ... fully aware that the Father had put EVERYTHING into HIS POWER
and that he had come FROM GOD
and was returning TO GOD.

We echo the same dignity in our profession of faith every Sunday, saying that our Lord Jesus Christ is “GOD FROM GOD, LIGHT FROM LIGHT, TRUE GOD FROM TRUE GOD.”
By choosing to wash the feet of his chosen people, HOLY-GOD-IN-THE-HIGHEST gave himself the work of a foreign slave— volunteering to serve as an outcast without dignity, an outsider beneath his own people.
This turns not only the WORLD upside down.
It turns GOD upside down: the All-Holy Creator disowning himself and enslaving himself to his sinful creatures.
To sin is to trample under our feet the goodness and honor of God.
By washing the sinful feet of his apostolic church, Jesus is already explaining his cross to us.
Sin rejects God.
God allows the rejection to go all the way to the cross.
He accepts betrayal at the hands of one of the first handpicked Christians.
The other eleven handpicked first Christian men abandoned God to his chosen suffering.
God to whom all sacrifice and worship are owed then accepts to be rejected by his own high priest, condemned by the elders of his nation, shoved outside the gates of his own holy city, handed over to the Roman representatives of the world who abuse, torture and crucify him.
Jews, Christians, pagans— the whole world reveals its guilt.
They know not what they do.
God knows what he is doing.
He came into the human race.
As a member of the human race, in the name of the human race, at the head of the human race, within the human race: God as a man took the lowest place.
His willing death on the cross receives meaning when Jesus washes the feet of sinners.
The meaning is continued and deepened in another unbelievable sign.
The Lord Jesus,
on the night he was handed over,
took bread,
and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said,
“This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper,
saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

All sacrifice and worship are owed to God.
Yet he offers his body and his blood— slaughtered and poured out— as food for sinners who deny him the love and honor that are his first of all.
As a foreign slave washing feet, as a criminal condemned to death, even as food and drink, he chooses to put himself at the disposal of the human race.
Having gone lower than the human race, while being a member of the human race, God is now in a position to personally take the human race from miserable death at the bottom to glory in the highest.
Christ rises from the dead and into heaven as a member of the human race, in the name of the human race, at the head of the human race, within the human race.
In Christ risen and ascended— in Christ the human race is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
In his Body and Blood, Christ lets us eat and drink the dignity of God himself.
What have we done to deserve this?
Nothing!
What can we do to deserve this?
Nothing!
Without deserving it, and without being able to deserve it, we are to imitate.
We are to imitate the Divine Slave, imitate the sinless washer of sinful feet, imitate the one who slaughters himself to be our food and drink.
This night he tells us:
Do this in remembrance of me.

If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,
you ought to wash one another’s feet.
I have given you a model to follow,
so that as I have done for you, you should also do.

This night, as at every Eucharist, we renew the Covenant of Christ, choosing to say “Amen,” thereby binding ourselves to serve and imitate the Holy One who has bound himself as the slave, scapegoat, banquet and savior of sinners.

UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All







THE NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT

Click HERE for it.
UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All







Holy Thursday— The Chrism Mass

[Note. My post for the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper will come later.]

Many Catholics make it a point to attend Holy Thursday's Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper at their own parish churches. However, relatively few Catholics have ever attended their bishop's "Chrism Mass" that is ideally celebrated also on Holy Thursday sometime before the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, but may be celebrated some days before Holy Thursday.

At the Chrism Mass the bishop blesses or consecrates the oils that are to serve as the Oil of Saints (also know as the “Oil of Catechumens”), the Sacred Chrism and the Oil of the Sick. These Holy Oils are then distributed to all the parish churches under that bishop.

The liturgical chants, the prayers, the readings and texts of the Chrism Mass dwell strongly on the ministry of Christ and his apostles— the same ministry handed on in the bishops and to the priests down to our day. Because of this, every single priest in a diocese is invited to join the bishop at the Chrism Mass together with representative Catholics from every parish church.

Click HERE for it.
UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All







April 11, 2006

For Wednesday of Holy Week

Matthew 26:14-25

In the Gospel today we witness two sets of preparations.
Both sets of preparations involve slavery.
First:  Judas Iscariot arranges to hand Christ over to the chief priests for the price of a slave— thirty silver coins.
Second:  Christ sends disciples to make ready the ancient Passover supper, his last supper.
The ancient Passover celebrates God freeing his Israelite people from slavery in Egypt.
Christ has come now to make a new Passover:  to free the whole human race from the slavery of sin.
To do that, Christ chose to undergo the misery of a slave, a sinner, a condemned criminal.
Dying the death of all the human race, Christ carried all the human race and its sinful guilt— he carried it all in himself to the cross, unto death.
Making the new Passover, Christ carried the human race in himself, passing into death, passing over into the resurrection.
He carried the whole human race, ascending into the resurrection and the home of God himself.
He offers us this new Passover.
He offers it to us as food and drink:  his body and his blood.
To agree to the new Passover by eating and drinking his body and his blood, we must also go through the Passover, we must “pass over”— working with Christ to leave sin behind, working with him to rise into the gift that God has opened up for us.
Otherwise we waste the Eucharistic Passover that he gives us, and we continue to throw ourselves into slavery.

- - - -

(Today’s Preface for the Liturgy of the Eucharist)

Father, all powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The days of his life-giving death and glorious resurrection are approaching.
This is the hour when he triumphed over Satan’s pride,
the time when we celebrate the great event of our redemption.

Through Christ the angels of heaven offer their prayer of adoration as they rejoice in your presence for ever. May our voices be one with theirs in their triumphant hymn of praise: Holy, holy, holy….

UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All







A Prayer for Trinitarian Life, Eucharistic Freedom, Gospel Faithfulness and Everlasting Communion

Every Catholic should know this prayer. It serves well in preparing for Mass (Gospel and Eucharist). It serves well for after Mass. It serves well when visiting and adoring the Blessed Sacrament. It would serve well as a daily prayer during Holy Week.

Click HERE for it.
UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All







April 10, 2006

For Tuesday of Holy Week

John 13:21-33,36-38
Isaiah 49:1-6

In the darkness of night into which Judas goes to betray the Lord— the same darkness in which Peter will deny three times that he even knows the Lord— there is a piercing shaft of light and glory today.
Today the Gospel and prophecy show us a Son basking and glorying in the love and mission he has from his Father.
Today the prophecy of Isaiah is a song Christ sings of himself.
The Father made of me a sharp-edged sword
and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
He made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me.
I am his servant,
his Son, through whom he shows his glory.
And I am made glorious in his sight,
and he is my strength.
He has made me a light to the nations,
that salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

We hear the echo of that ancient prophet song in the Gospel today.
Now is the Son of Man glorified,
and God is glorified in him.
If God is glorified in him,
God will also glorify him in himself,
and he will glorify him at once.

The resurrection of our Lord is glory in the sight of men.
His death on the cross is also glory— not so much in the eyes of men, but glory in his own eyes and the Father’s eyes.
Christ takes up his suffering and death as a song of love and thanksgiving he offers to the glory of his Father in heaven.
He himself offers his suffering and death as an image of his and the Father’s love for us.
Though he is risen in glory and immortal victory over death, he chooses to keep in his body the marks of suffering and death as a bridge and sign of his eternal solidarity with our present, mortal human condition.
We— though still liable to suffering and death— we receive already in the sacraments the marks of his glory and his resurrection.
Now in his Eucharist, he makes present for us all the beauty and glory of his undying, invincible love.
In his own real flesh and blood, God gives us to eat and drink of himself.
By the power of the sacraments— Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist— each of us becomes a prophecy, each of us becomes a Gospel.
At the end of time, when Christ returns to cover the earth with the glory of God, every one who is faithful shall fulfill today’s prophecy and Gospel.
The Father made of US sharp-edged swords
and concealed US in the shadow of his arm.
He made US into polished arrows,
in his quiver he hid US.
WE are his servants,
his SONS and DAUGHTERS, through whom he shows his glory.
And WE are made glorious in his sight,
and he is our strength.
He has made US a light to the nations,
that salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Now are we glorified— the sons and daughters of God,
and God is glorified in us.

That is the truth we eat and drink.
It is the substance of all our hope.
It is the power and pattern for all our loving service.
It is both the mission and the destiny God graciously offers to us.

- - - -

(Today’s Preface for the Liturgy of the Eucharist)

Father, all powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The days of his life-giving death and glorious resurrection are approaching.
This is the hour when he triumphed over Satan’s pride,
the time when we celebrate the great event of our redemption.

Through Christ the angels of heaven offer their prayer of adoration as they rejoice in your presence for ever. May our voices be one with theirs in their triumphant hymn of praise: Holy, holy, holy….

UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All







April 09, 2006

For Monday of Holy Week

John 12:1-11

Today in the Gospel is six days before Passover.
In the Biblical way of counting that means Monday of Christ’s original Holy Week— today, in fact, in our own celebration of Holy Week.
Today in the Gospel: a most unusual dinner!
Lazarus— a man four days dead whom Jesus raised from the dead— Lazarus and his sisters host a dinner for Jesus.
Not only that!
A large crowd has come from all over to see Jesus, having turned to faith in him because he raised Lazarus from the dead.
How do you thank a man who has raised you or your own brother from the dead?
Serving him a dinner does not begin to be enough.
Pouring out a treasure of rare scented oil upon his feet and wiping his feet with your own hair do not begin to be enough.
Yet, these doings— a dinner, an extravagant anointing and a lavish pedicure with your own hair as the towel for his feet— these doings are sincere and sacred signs of honor, reverence, gratitude and love.
Christ the Lord, the Resurrection and the Life, is pleased to accept these sincere rites of worship with blessing and respect.
He always wants us to serve the ever-present poor, as he himself did.
Yet, he is also pleased to have us serve him directly, exclusively and abundantly in rites of worship.
You always have the poor with you,
but you do not always have me.

In the rites of Holy Week, we pour out an overflowing vessel of precious and formal worship at the feet of Christ the Lord.
It never begins to be enough.
So, it always needs the sincerity of a humble sinner who manages only to say, “God be merciful to me a sinner.”
Christ spoke of such a penitent as going home “right with God.”
That penitent did not serve up a banquet for God.
He did not spend anything on scented unguents for God.
Yet, he bothered to go to the Sacred Temple, and that was where he beat his breast and said only, “God be merciful to me a sinner.”
That was enough for him to go home right with God.
Whether our motive is a sinner’s abject contrition or a former dead man’s lush display of gratitude, it is right with God for us from time to time to leave behind our sins and pride, or even to leave the poor alone for a while, and to go face to face before God.
It is right in the eyes of God for us to offer up the ceremonies of Holy Week with both contrition for our sins and gratitude for God.
Christ the Lord has declared:
where two or three are gathered in my name,
there am I in the midst of them. [Mt. 18:20]

So, in the midst of our rites of worship, Christ gives himself to us.
Yet, what about the ever-present poor, the hungry and thirsty, the homeless, the sick, the prisoners, the dying and all who suffer?
Today the Lord says:
You always have the poor with you,
but you do not always have me.

Why do we always— why do we STILL— have poverty and suffering with us?
If Christ overcame the grave in himself, taking the human psyche and the human body up into glory, why has he not fixed this broken world?
Why?
We don’t know why.
What we know is “not yet”: he has not yet fixed this broken world.
That provokes another question, “When?”
Also: “How?”
Every Sunday we faithfully profess “we look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.”
The “world to come”: mysteriously we know that God is not just going to “fix, mend, repair or patch up” the world of ever-present poverty and suffering.
Rather, he is going to change it through and through.
That is our faith.
Our rites of worship— even this present Eucharistic hour— our rites of worship proclaim the same faith.
We come here to Christ in his Eucharist with sorrow for our sins and resolve to work for change.
We come to give him thanks for his life, suffering, death and glory.
We worship him present in our midst.
We worship him for what he will do for us one day in “the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.”
With our worship, we also express and promise— AND EVEN PARADOXICALLY TEMPT— our own faith-filled, hope-filled, loving PATIENCE … worship-filled patience as we wait for the Lord to fulfill finally the promises he has made.

- - - -

(Today’s Preface for the Liturgy of the Eucharist)

Father, all powerful and everliving God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The days of his life-giving death and glorious resurrection are approaching.
This is the hour when he triumphed over Satan's pride,
the time when we celebrate the great event of our redemption.

Through Christ the angels of heaven offer their prayer of adoration as they rejoice in your presence for ever. May our voices be one with theirs in their triumphant hymn of praise: Holy, holy, holy….

UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All