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.

May 10, 2007

For Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter

May 10 in the U.S.A. is the optional memorial of Blessed Damien of Moloka’i

John 15:9-11

Jesus says three things together bind his disciples to his Father: LOVE, COMMANDMENTS, and JOY.
Jesus says that love and commandments utterly need each other.
IF you keep my commandments,
you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.

IF we do not keep his commandments, we will not remain in his love.
Jesus tells us the drive and aim for love that keeps the Father’s commandments.
I have told you this so that my joy might be in you
and your joy might be complete.

The Father’s blessed men and women who have inherited the kingdom are those who, while on earth, loved God through his commandments.
The boundless fruit of their earthly obedience is blessed joy in the kingdom of God.
The Royal Son of Man, in the least of his brethren, was sick and in prison, and the blessed visited him.
Blessed Damien of Moloka’i did not merely visit those sick and in prison; rather, he went to live with the leprosy patients whom the Kingdom of Hawai’i had exiled to Kalaupapa, a peninsula that one could reach only by going over a cliff or over the sea.
Kalaupapa had no nurse or doctor, no law or government.
It offered to the leprosy patients only disease, deprivation, depravity, and death!
Father Damien of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary went to Kalaupapa to serve and live with the Royal Son of Man in his least brethren the exiled sick.
He went there to love the Father through his commandments.
Father Damien nursed the leprosy patients, befriended them, gave them the Gospel and the Sacraments, served as their father, and shielded the weaker from the stronger by imposing law and order.
He buried the dead.
After twelve years, Father Damien himself caught leprosy, and died four years after that.
For sixteen years, Blessed Damien was among the exiled leprosy patients, finally suffering and dying as one himself.
He was an image of Jesus, the Son of Man, our Blessed King and Savior who chose to share the exile, suffering and death of sinners.
Here in his Blessed Eucharist, the Son of God has come into our exile, to love his Father’s commandments, and to be the welfare of sinners in a merciful covenant between them and his Father.
Even in the Eucharist, most especially in the Eucharist, love through the commandments brings forth new and everlasting joy.

That God Be Glorified in All