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.

October 23, 2007

For Tuesday of the Twenty-Ninth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Romans 5:12,15b,17-19,20b-21

To sum up the Word of the Lord in the first reading today:
Condemnation, death, and the increase of sin
came to everyone in the world through one man’s sin of disobedience.
Even more, however,
the righteousness and obedience of one man, Jesus Christ,
now have led to the free gifts of acquittal, righteousness and eternal life
for all men in the abundance of God’s grace.

Through baptism from the Church we have received the free gifts of God.
God in Christ has freed us to be free IN God, free FOR God, free WITH God, free LIKE God.
Freedom is alive not in merely doing what one liked, but in doing good.
If freedom meant a right to do whatever one liked, then we would have to accept and respect sins that others might commit against us in their freedom to do as they liked.
Freedom lives and grows only in choosing to do good.
The utter and everlasting fulfillment of freedom is Christ.
His upright goodness is the fulfillment, perfection, pattern, and goal of freedom.
To follow Christ is to follow freedom.
He tells us in his Gospel today:
be like servants who await their master’s return
ready to open immediately when he knocks.
Blessed are those servants
whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.

Waiting for the Lord consists in taking responsibility for every free choice we make in all our actions and attitudes.
Waiting for the Lord is also prayer.
To wait in prayer is to be aware that something we need and want is missing, and that it comes in the person of the Lord.
In his Eucharist, the Lord is really with us always.
His Eucharist is also his ever-present final return.
Blessed are those servants
whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival
he will have them recline at table,
and he will wait on them.

In his Eucharist, the Master waits on his servants.
In his Eucharist, though he comes among us as one who serves, he remains both the standard and the judge of our service.
Blessed are those servants
whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.

As the standard of our service, Christ in his Eucharist freely places himself utterly at our disposal, ready to be consumed for our good.
Yet, in this he is also already our judge, for he measures us by what we freely dare to receive.
The Word of the Lord tells us when we receive his Eucharist we eat and drink judgment.
The Risen One tells us in his Gospel today and his Eucharist everyday:
Be watchful and ready!
I am already really present.

Even in his Eucharist, he is coming “again in glory to judge the living and the dead”— as we say every Sunday in the Creed— he is Judge of the Living and the Dead, even in his Eucharist.

That God Be Glorified in All


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