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.

November 11, 2007

For the Thirty-Second Ordinary Sunday of the Church Year

[Today it is not my turn to preach at the monastery's Mass. Here is a homily from the past.]

Luke 20:27-40

Even before his own death and resurrection, the Lord pointed to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as living proof of the resurrection.
Today in his Gospel, they are signs of the timeless saving power of the Lord who suffered, died, was buried, and rose from the dead.
In our Profession of Faith at every Sunday Mass we say:
We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.

What will the resurrection be like?
Right now, our bodily life, physical fertility, the conceiving and bearing of children are already spiritual realities, spiritual events.
Our physical fertility and fruitfulness share and reveal the creative power of the Spirit, the Lord the Giver of Life.
The body’s fruitfulness is an essential part of our being images of God the Creator.
Still, our Lord tells us today that in the resurrection we will also go beyond human marriage and childbirth.
All who receive and obey the mission of celibacy in the Church are ambassadors and prophets.
By celibacy they announce the Church’s faith in the resurrection— a faith pointing to a future already present in our lives and guaranteed by God.
The sacrament of marriage also points to future glory in Christ.
The fulfillment that man and woman can give each other becomes in the sacrament a sign and an instrument of a greater fulfillment in Christ.
The sacrament points to God’s love shining on and from the human body of the risen Christ.
Through each other, a husband and wife receive the call to die to their individual selves and to live for God.
Sacramental marriage points to the Eucharist: a pact of communion consummated by death to self and life for another.
Celibacy also points to the Eucharist in which the material world in bread and wine already comes to an end, surrendering itself as powerless before the real risen Body and the real living Blood of Christ.
Neither marriage nor celibacy may “work out”, unless together with Christ in his Eucharist we choose to die to self-centeredness so as to rise living for the good of others and the glory of God.
Each human person is created to say, “Yes,” to more than himself.
The Lord’s final words in his Gospel today are about those who have risen from death:
To [God] all are alive.

When we rise from the dead, everything in us shall come alive for God, just as God is already entirely alive for us.
In his Eucharist he is entirely alive for us.
In giving himself to us in his Eucharist he is already feeding us the life of the world to come.

That God Be Glorified in All


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