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 27, 2007

For Tuesday of the Thirty-Fourth and Final Week of the Church Year

Luke 21:5-11
Daniel 2:31-45

Today, the ancient prophecy tells of a stone hewn from a mountain without a hand being put to it—
a stone that becomes a great mountain and fills the whole earth—
a stone that God sets up as a kingdom never to be destroyed or conquered, breaking all other kingdoms into pieces—
a stone that shall stand forever, even though temples of God come tumbling down.
Christ is that stone.
He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We join the people in the Gospel today, asking Jesus:
when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?

Through his Church, Christ the Lord is already king of all creation, but, as the Catechism [680] testifies:
all things of this world are not yet subjected to him.
The triumph of Christ’s kingdom will not come about without one last assault by the powers of evil.

Before Christ returns, the Church will undergo a last trial that will shake many believers.
A “supreme religious deception” [CCC 675] will persecute the Church, and will promise people what seems to be a way out of their difficulties by taking them away from the truth in Christ and his Church.
The anti-Christian way will involve humanity glorifying itself instead of God in Christ.
Christ’s final royal triumph will not come by the Church gradually rising up in worldly victory on earth, but rather through the Church suffering persecution.
In her Catechism [677] the Church speaks of it as follows.
The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover.
The kingdom will be fulfilled, then,
not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy,
but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil,
which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven.
God’s triumph over the revolt of evil
will take the form of the Last Judgment
after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.

As always, as ever, the Eucharist spells it out for us.
Here, the Church presents herself at the altar of sacrifice.
She presents herself as wheat crushed into dust and ready to be devoured as bread.
She presents herself as grapes smashed and bled out for drinking.
Her appearance does not change.
She hands herself over in sacrifice.
Her appearance does not change.
The crushing and bleeding of wheat and grapes are not banished.
But God breaks into the sacrifice.
Body of Christ!
Blood of Christ!
But the appearance is still wheat ground and grapes smashed.
That is how the end will come.
The Church will suffer crushing and smashing.
Then God will break in and finally push aside the heavenly bridal veil to show that the Church that has suffered is his heavenly Body pulsing with his Blood.
If we want the glory that is the promise of the Eucharist, then we must also choose the suffering that is to come through our promise of fidelity to Christ and his Church.

That God Be Glorified in All


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