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.

August 13, 2007

For Tuesday of the Nineteenth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Matthew 18:1-5,10,12-14

One of the charges that some religious hypocrites leveled against Jesus was that he welcomed sinners and ate with them.
In the teaching of Jesus, the same charge can be made of God: God searches for repentant sinners, welcomes them, and eats with them.
Christ tells a lesson about one stray sheep out of a flock of one hundred.
The owner risks his other ninety-nine sheep, leaving them and searching for the one gone astray.
At the end of this lesson Christ points out the meaning he intends: God, our Father in heaven, is happier over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
We quite correctly understand Christ himself to be the Good Shepherd.
Whenever any one of us acknowledges himself to be a sinner and calls out for the mercy of Christ, we can surely trust that our shepherd comes looking for us.
However, we can also understand that the Son of God was born a man of flesh and blood to take our place as the “One Great Lost Sheep”, the “Lamb of God”.
In Christ’s human life on earth, a life of perfect obedience and love, all of us and all human life are found and brought back by God.
Through faith and baptism, through our own lives of faith, hope, sacrificial love and charity, each one of us gains a participation in the life of Christ, and the life of Christ himself is poured out into our lives.
This we celebrate now in the Eucharist of Christ the Lamb of God.

That God Be Glorified in All


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