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.

March 28, 2007

For a Lenten Celebration of the Sacrament of the Forgiveness of Sins

Matthew 6:1-6,16-18

The Church gave us this Gospel on Ash Wednesday.
In this Gospel Jesus tells us to do things secretly for the heavenly Father to see in secret, and then our heavenly Father will repay us for them.
Jesus gives us that pattern three times in this Gospel: if you act secretly, your Father will see secretly, and he will repay you.
Quietly give alms to the poor.
Pray intimately to your Father.
Secretly deprive your appetite.
Let your Father see these three things in secret, and your Father will repay you.
Jesus will go on to say that the payback is a treasure.  [Mt. 6:19-21]
The treasure is heaven— God’s home.
Have you— have I— have we each come any closer to God, to being at home with God, at peace with God?
Or have we not?
And is that the story of our lives?
The three secrets Jesus gives us in this Gospel are three ways for living as children of the Father.
God’s children help the poor.
God’s children spend time alone with him in prayer.
God’s children deprive themselves in fasting as a reminder that God is their real food, their real treasure, their real home, and their real Father.
Have we each lived as God’s children?
Have we neglected to live as God’s children?
Have we refused to live as God’s children?
Not long from today, the children of God will celebrate the Solemn Festival of the Resurrection— the homecoming of the sons and daughters of God in Christ!
By confessing our sins and asking forgiveness, we make a fresh start on the road home.
And God sees.
And God repays.
He wants his children home.

That God Be Glorified in All


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