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 17, 2007

For Wednesday of the Second Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Mark 3:1-6

In the Gospel today we see a political party and a religious group plotting together to destroy Jesus.
They are upset that he performs a healing on the Sabbath— that he “works” on that day when the Law of God forbade work.
The Sabbath is made for man, and man is made for God.
The Sabbath is the day for man to give special honor to his maker.
It is also the day that reminds man to honor and obey God’s commandment of love.
So today in the Gospel, a Sabbath day, in a house of worship, we see Christ the Lord honoring God and God’s commandment by showing God’s love in healing the man with the crippled hand.
On that particular Sabbath day, in a house of worship, Christ the Son of God was indeed alive for that poor man.
Whenever we celebrate the Liturgy, God is at work, present for us in his Risen Son and in the sending of the Holy Spirit.
In the Liturgy, God is present and hard at work for us in the words of his Gospel and in the mystery of Christ’s Body and Blood.
In these, God enters this our Christian synagogue, and is present now at this our Christian Sabbath hour.
In his Holy Gospel and in his Blessed Sacrament, he calls out to us, “Come here.”
As we stand before him, he then commands us to stretch out our hands and our hearts to him, so that here in the worship of God, our human nature is restored and made whole.
We are saved here in the worship of God.
Here God’s heart is open to save us.
He is looking to see if our hearts are open like his.
In fact, in the Gospel today, we see Christ our God looking into the hearts of men.
Then, the Gospel testifies to a particular movement in the heart of God—and it is the only time in the four Gospels that we see this particular movement.
When Christ saw that the hearts of the Pharisees were hardened and shut to both his own goodness and the need of the crippled man, Christ was grieved and he looked at them with ANGER.
Here the original language of the Gospel uses a strong word meaning not merely any kind of irritation, but FURY and RAGE.
The real rage, the actual fury, the genuine anger of Jesus has one object in the Gospels: HARDNESS OF HEART.
Hard-heartedness towards the merciful goodness of the Lord, and hard-heartedness towards the misery of a neighbor—hard-heartedness deservedly meets the real, actual, genuine rage, fury and anger of the Lord Jesus.
As we receive God today in his Gospel and his Eucharistic Flesh and Blood, let us pray and work for the ongoing conversion of our hearts, our minds and our actions.

UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All







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