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.

January 21, 2007

For the Third Ordinary Sunday of the Church Year

Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21

In the holy gospel according to Luke, today is the first time that Jesus publicly calls himself the ANOINTED, which is the meaning of both “christ” and “messiah.”
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has ANOINTED me.

We are here today in the name of the Anointed One, Christ, who promised to be with us when we gather in his name.
Today in his Gospel, he says he is here with us:
to bring glad tidings to the poor…
liberty to captives…
sight to the blind…
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

Then he adds:
Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.

Do you believe— can you believe— that you personally are fulfilled in Christ with gladness, liberty, sight, acceptance from God, and freedom from oppression,?
That kind of faith is not a matter of pretending you have no problems or suffering.
Rather, God really is here right now, and he really offers each person acceptance, sight, liberty, gladness and freedom from oppression.
The QUESTION— the PROBLEM— the WORK of our faith is to keep in mind and put into practice the acceptance, sight, liberty, gladness and freedom that God is really offering us.
It would be nice if God would just make every problem and all suffering disappear.
As Christians, we acknowledge that when Christ returns at the end of time, he will end all sin, suffering and death.
The scandal is that, until then, we suffer problems, pain, sickness, mistakes, confusion and sin.
These scandals lead some persons to say there is no such thing as an all-powerful and perfectly good being called “God.”
Christ did not come to prove the existence of God.
Christ came to show how God TRULY IS— and what we TRULY ARE.
Christ came to give us TRUTH.
He tells us:
If you continue in my word…
… you will know the TRUTH,
and the truth will make you FREE.

Amen, amen, I say to you,
every one who commits sin is a SLAVE.

Christ sets truth and freedom against sin and slavery.
He tells us that truth will make us free.
There is no freedom without the truth.
Without the truth there is sin and slavery.
Then what is truth?
God is love— but Love that is absolutely free of self-concern: Love that gives everything away— Love that does not need anyone to give love back.
We see the Truth, Love, and Freedom on the cross of Jesus who is both God and man.
The man who suffered and died on the cross is God freely giving himself up and giving himself away in person in human flesh and blood.
The cross shows and gives to the world God’s Truth, God’s Freedom and God’s Love.
The cross shows and gives to the world God’s Goodness, Beauty, Communion, and Solidarity with the human race.
In the flesh and blood of Christ, the whole world and the whole history of flesh and blood is set free from slavery, sin, suffering, and death by being raised from the dead, filled with all the majesty, power and presence of God’s Holy Spirit of Truth, Freedom, Love, Goodness, Beauty and Communion.
The truth is that we human beings are made for happiness and freedom in knowing and loving God— AND IN LOVING AS GOD LOVES.
God wants to fill our entire being with his Spirit of Truth, Freedom, Love, Goodness, Beauty and Communion.
He gives us that Spirit in the same flesh and blood that received birth, death and resurrection in the person of Christ.
That is why he says to us in his Gospel:
If you continue in my word…
… you will know the truth,
and the truth will make you free.

Scripture [1 Tim. 2:4-6] tells us:
God our savior desires all men to be saved
and to come to the knowledge of the truth:
[that] there is one God
and one mediator between God and men…
Christ Jesus who gave himself as a ransom for all.

Right now and right here, we celebrate the presence of our ransom, gladness, and freedom… in person… in the Eucharist of the real Body and real Blood of Christ.
Today in our presence the Scripture is fulfilled.

That God Be Glorified in All


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