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.

April 07, 2007

The Prayer of the Church on Holy Saturday

The Church has no Mass for Holy Saturday morning or afternoon. We begin to celebrate the Sunday of the Resurrection in the darkness after sundown on Holy Saturday with the Mass of the Easter Vigil. Nonetheless, the Church still keeps the liturgical hours of prayer— called “The Liturgy of the Hours” or “The Divine Office”— throughout Holy Saturday. Here is the prayer that the pope and all the clergy, all members of religious orders and many ordinary Catholics will use at the conclusion of each liturgical hour of prayer on Holy Saturday from the morning until sundown.

All-powerful and ever-living God,
your only Son went down among the dead
and rose again in glory.
In your goodness
raise up your faithful people,
buried with him in baptism,
to be one with him
in the eternal life of heaven,
where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

That God Be Glorified in All

April 06, 2007

For the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday

John 18:1 to 19:42

Elsewhere in his Gospel, Jesus describes himself as the Man who is the King of Glory, King of Angels and King of All Nations [cf. Mt. 25].
On Palm Sunday, we saw him enter Jerusalem the city of God, with the crowds acclaiming Jesus as messiah, king and savior.
On Easter Sunday, the Resurrection, Jesus risen from the dead re-enters Jerusalem as the forever-invincible King of Life.
Today we commemorate his suffering, death, and burial.
We believe in him: King of Glory, King of Angels, King of All Nations, Anointed One, Savior, Risen and Invincible King of Life.
Eternal, Almighty God came to earth to be a man of flesh and blood, to live as a member of the human race, to suffer because we suffer, to die because we die.
His complete solidarity with us in life and death is a great sign of his goodness.
There is more.
Though entirely innocent, he chose to shoulder the responsibility for all human sin from the first to the last.
Sin— the primordial cause of all that is broken or evil in the universe!
The paradox is that God should not have to shoulder that responsibility.
The paradox is also that God alone could shoulder by choice such a responsibility.
Shouldering the responsibility for all human sin from the first to the last, and shouldering all that is broken and evil in the universe, Christ made all of it die in his own death.
His death wiped clean the slate of sin-laden human history so there could be a new beginning.
There is more.
He rose from the dead.
He— God— rose from the dead still a man— but unimaginably different and unimaginably new.
He rose from the dead still in solidarity with the human race, but having carried the human race through sin and death, having carried the human race in himself beyond into a new life and into holiness.
By coming into the human race, dying as the human race, and rising in the name of the human race, Christ gives us power and possibility for life without end and joy without limit.
It is a test for our faith that we may not see the victorious end of our destiny until the fulfillment of the world.
Yet we believe it.
Though Christ shouldered all our responsibility, he does not leave us without responsibility.
In answer to his goodness, we are to follow him.
As he took on all our suffering, we must answer by carrying all who suffer.
In his Gospel, Christ expects us to answer his goodness by doing good to all who suffer.
Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.
Amen, I say to you,
whatever you did
for one of these least brothers of mine,
you did for me. [Mt. 25]

It is not enough for us to have faith in the goodness of the Lord.
He holds us accountable for giving an answer to his goodness by being good ourselves to others.
In the goodness of his Eucharist, he tells us to do the same.
Do this in memory of me.

That God Be Glorified in All

April 05, 2007

For the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday

John 13:1-15
Exodus 12:1-8,11-14
1 Corinthians 11:23-26

In a few moments, we will imitate the Lord in his Gospel today, where he took on the chore that Israel assigned only to foreign slaves.
The Lord washed the feet of his own followers during his Last Supper on that first “Holy Thursday”.
By washing the feet of his Church, the Lord gives a sign of what he means to do by his cross.
On his cross, he who is God takes the place of what is foreign to God.
Sin is absolutely foreign to God.
On the cross, God takes the place of sin.
He takes the lowest place.
He dies for sin.
He makes himself the foreign slave for sinners.
By his cross he washes the dirt of sin away.
In a similar way, the Eucharist— the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ— the Eucharist also explains the cross.
After washing the feet of his Church during his Last Supper— at the end of his Last Supper— the Lord took bread and wine, and he changed them, saying.

The Creator chooses to be the food and drink of his human creatures who are in the rebellion of sin against him.
Food and drink are lower than the slaves who bring the banquet to the table.
In his Eucharist, God chooses to be lower than a slave for us, he washes the dirt of sin from us, and he gives us the saving power of his death on the cross.
There is another great thing God does for us by the gift of his Body and Blood.
This is my Body
This is my Blood

A covenant is a solemn vow that binds two parties to each other.
In the way of the Bible— the word of the Lord— a covenant must be signed using blood.
Blood— because the two parties in the covenant make a solemn vow to be faithful to each other unto death, even if faithfulness comes at the cost of one’s own lifeblood.
Since the Lord calls his Eucharist a covenant, then we must treat it as covenant.
As the Lord lived and died for us, do we solemnly vow each time we enter the Eucharistic Covenant to live and die for him rather than be unfaithful?
What do you and I gain from the covenant of the Eucharist?
The Lord tells us that this covenant is so that sins may be forgiven.
Sin is the first cause of death— but Christ is the resurrection.
If we are faithful to the covenant of the Eucharist, we also will rise from the dead and come into glory with Christ.
On that first Holy Thursday when Christ proposed the Eucharistic Covenant to his Church, he told his apostles: DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.
That is a commandment.
It is an order.
It is something he has ordained to be done.
The apostles received an ordained commission to DO THE NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT.
They handed on that commission to apostolic bishops after them.
Down to our own day, and to this very hour and place, the apostolic bishops have shared that commission with priests, including the priest with you here tonight.
Because of that, Christ himself will be here in person— Christ himself in his Body and Blood.
Let us prepare!
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,
by the will of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit
your death brought life to the world.
By your holy Body and Blood
free me from all my sins and from every evil.
Keep me faithful to your teaching,
and never let me be parted from you.

That God Be Glorified in All

The First Preface of the Holy Eucharist

Click HERE for it.
That God Be Glorified in All

April 01, 2007

For Palm Sunday

Crucify him! Crucify him!

Be crucified, Lord Jesus Christ!
Die for me!

A man agrees that death shall be the penalty
if he sins against any covenant he has chosen to enter.

by virtue of the New and Everlasting Covenant in your Blood,
you, O Lord, have sworn to die for my sins against you.

That is infinitely unfitting.
Of that I am wholly unworthy.

Yet, you have given your word.
So it has come to pass.

In daring to eat your Body and drink your Blood,
I am sworn to live for you and to die for you.

Take my life,
as I now take yours!

Be crucified, Lord Jesus Christ!
Die for me!

That God Be Glorified in All