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.

January 12, 2007

For Friday of the First Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Mark 2:1-12

Today in his Gospel, Christ reads the actions, the hearts and the minds of those present.
When he sees the four men carrying their paralyzed friend to him, the Lord reads their hearts, and, as the Gospel tells us, he sees their faith.
He also looks into the heart of the friend they are carrying, and sees in him the spiritual paralysis of sin.
Then, because he sees the FAITH of that man’s FRIENDS, he says to the paralyzed man, “My son, YOUR SINS are forgiven.”
Then Christ reads the hearts of the scribes who are present and thinking silently, “God alone can forgive sins— this man is blaspheming.”
The Lord immediately speaks in answer to their unspoken thoughts.
“Why do you question thus in your hearts?”
Then, because of the UNBELIEF of the SCRIBES, the Lord says to the paralyzed man, “Rise, pick up your bed and go home.”
The FAITH of the paralyzed man’s friends achieves something they are NOT expecting.
The UNBELIEF of the scribes also occasions something THEY are not expecting.
The paralyzed man, who cannot do or say anything, is the beneficiary of both the FAITH of others as well as the UNBELIEF of others.
All of this takes place while no one voices a single word, except Christ who reads the hearts of all.
They think he is only a man.
However, he has God’s authority and power both to heal bodies and forgive sins on earth.
Here in his Eucharist, he has the same authority and power to heal the body, raise the dead, forgive sins and bring salvation.
If we approach him now with faith— as did the friends of the paralytic— if we approach the Eucharistic Christ with faith today, our faith may win from Christ today the forgiveness of sins for our friends, for the world and for ourselves.
We can believe that the sick and the suffering will benefit if we are approach Christ with faith.
Who among us has authority to measure or limit what Christ can do in answer to our own faith?
We don’t have that authority.
Christ in his Eucharist has authority and power to go beyond all our expectations.

That God Be Glorified in All

January 10, 2007

For Wednesday of the First Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Mark 1:29-39

In his Gospel today, our Lord receives a sort of “vocation” through one of his own disciples.
At nightfall, the WHOLE TOWN gathers outside the house where Jesus is staying.
Our Lord yields to their wishes, healing the many ill or possessed.
The next morning he does not sleep in.
Before sunrise, he leaves for the desert, where he can pray alone and listen to the voice of the Father.
However, Simon Peter and others track the Lord down with the message, “Everybody is looking for you.”
The whole town again— just like last night!
Our Lord does not excuse himself from the work, saying he wants to pray.
He respects this “vocation” that he has received through Simon Peter since it is a mission from the heavenly Father:
Let us go on to the nearby villages
that I may preach there also.

He goes to the neighboring villages, but this is only a beginning.
The Gospel testifies he went “throughout the whole of Galilee.”
The zeal of Christ never wears out.
Even after spreading himself thin over the whole map, he knowingly and freely sets his face toward Jerusalem, where he hands over his entire self in suffering and death out of obedience to the voice of the Father.
Though he rose from the dead and ascended into the invisible glory of heaven, Christ still comes into all the villages of the earth as someone who is literally to be consumed by his mission.
Take, eat!
This is my body given up for you.
Take, drink!
This is my blood shed for you.

With his Eucharist, our risen Lord still shows to his Church the marks of zeal and obedience in his hands and side.
As he does so, he still hands over to us what he handed over on the cross and what he— newly risen— handed over in the upper room.
In his body and blood, he is still on a mission from the Father, breathing out to us the Father’s gift.
As the Father sent me,
so I send you.
Receive the Holy Spirit!

In his flesh and blood Christ himself also gives us the Holy Spirit.
If we dare accept the gifts the Eucharist, then together with the Son of God we must accept the mission that Christ accepted, and we must hand ourselves over to be consumed by the Father’s will, consumed for the Father’s glory, and consumed for all men and for their salvation.

That God Be Glorified in All

January 09, 2007

I'm back.

Since before Christmas I have been fighting a cold. I'm much better now. Blogging resumes.

That God Be Glorified in All