One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

+ + +

The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

April 29, 2007

One Monk Meandering back to Monastery

Click HERE for it.
UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All







For the Fourth Sunday of Easter

John 10:27-30

Today in his Gospel, Jesus claims to do something only God can do.
I give my sheep eternal life,
and they shall never perish.

Only God can do that.
Jesus then piles more onto his claim to do what only God can do.
No one can take my sheep out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me,
is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.

“God and I are one.”
What God in Christ does for us is not something automatic that happens just because God wants it to happen.
No.
We also must do something.
My sheep hear my voice...
and they follow me.

Jesus the Good Shepherd calls out to us.
We can forget what he teaches.
We can doubt what he teaches.
We can ignore what he teaches.
Even if we hear and remember what he teaches, we can choose to go away from him, rather than follow him.
If we do not listen, believe and follow him in all that we do, then it is not possible for us to receive what he promises.
I give my sheep eternal life,
and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.

No one can take us out of his hands— but we can refuse to be in his hands in the first place.
We can also choose to leave his hands.
God does not imprison us.
He leaves us free to make choices.
If and when we choose to listen to the voice of God in Christ, to believe and to follow him, then we allow him to take us into his hands.
What happens then?
Today Jesus says he gives his sheep eternal life RIGHT NOW.
He does not say, “I SHALL give my sheep eternal life IN THE WORLD TO COME.”
Rather, today he says, “I GIVE them eternal life.”
Christ our God and Good Shepherd is giving us eternal life NOW.
Our side of that relationship is not passive reception.
Rather, it belongs to us to actively accepting eternal life NOW— otherwise we are actively doing something else, and actively going somewhere else.
Eternal life is not a prison.
God gives eternal life now, but the choice to enter or not is ours NOW.
At every moment, in every place, and in all that we do, we are choosing NOW to enter or abandon the eternal life that God is always opening and offering to us.
The Good Shepherd gives us eternal life in his Eucharist by which he gives up his body for us and sheds his blood for us.
The gift of the Eucharist cost Jesus his life.
Will we live our lives any differently because we eat and drink the Body and Blood of the Good Shepherd today?
If not, then our lives are tantamount to spitting the Eucharist out of our mouths, or attempting to stone Jesus to death.
In fact, hearing Jesus say today, “The Father and I are one,” the people immediately understood he was claiming to be equal to God, and they picked up stones to try to kill him.
My sheep hear my voice.
I know them,
and they follow me.
I give them eternal life,
and they shall never perish.
The Father and I are one.

God in Christ, the Good Shepherd, wants his Eucharist to be eternally life-changing for us right now.
I give my sheep eternal life.

If we do not choose to live that gift of eternal change when we receive the Eucharist, then we are already choosing to let ourselves die spiritually.
The Good Shepherd says, “No one can take my sheep out of my hand,” but we can refuse to live in his hands in the first place.
The Eucharist is always a matter of life and death.
This is my body... given up for you
This is... my blood... shed for you

The Good Shepherd gives us eternal life right now.
What are we doing with it right now?

UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All