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.

June 15, 2007

For the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Luke 15:3-7

Christ welcomed sinners, mingled with them and took part in their meals.
That is God’s way among men.
He searches for sinners, welcomes and eats with them.
In his Gospel today, Christ says our Father in heaven has more joy over one rescued sinner than over ninety-nine who have never strayed.
Having gone astray, having sinned, what is it for us to be found by God?
Though the shepherd search and even find, a lost sheep must stop and LET itself be rescued, or else it continues to stray.
Having gone astray, having sinned, we must repent, letting God take us onto his shoulders.
Christ is the Divine Shepherd.
Whenever we acknowledge ourselves to be sinners, and we call out for the mercy of Christ, we can surely trust that our shepherd was already looking for us.
There is more.
The Son of God was born a man of flesh and blood on earth to take our place as the “One Great Lost Sheep”— the “Lamb of God”.
In his human life on earth— a life of perfect obedience and love— all of humanity is found and brought back by God.
The Lamb of God took our sins upon his own head, becoming the Scapegoat.
So laden, he wandered even into the valley of our death.
EMMANUEL— with us even in death!
That is where the Father, the Shepherd of Heaven, found him with us, and lifted us all in Christ onto his shoulders, raising humanity up in Christ and the power of the Spirit.
Through faith and baptism, through our own lives of faith, hope and self-sacrifice, each of us enters into the sacred heart of Christ, into the life of Christ— and the Spirit and life of Christ himself pour from his heart into our lives.
This we now take up, proclaim and receive in the Eucharist of Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, and gives joy even to the Father.
Here, God still eats with sinners.

That God Be Glorified in All

June 10, 2007

For the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ

[My monastery celebrated “Corpus Christi” on the day the universal calendar of the Church indicated, that is, on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, last Thursday. By contrast, the local calendar of the Church in the United States transfers that solemnity to the Sunday after Trinity Sunday.]

Luke 9:11-17

Today in the Gospel, five loaves and two fish do not stand in the way of the Lord using them to OVERFEED five thousand men.
In a similar way, death itself and a sealed stone tomb were as nothing before the Lord rising in real flesh and blood.
Bread and wine are also as nothing before the Lord rising in real flesh and blood here on his altar.
Today in the Gospel, having only five loaves and two fish, the Lord OVERFEEDS five thousand men.
Afterwards there are twelve baskets of leftovers.
A sign from God— a sign about God!
Here in the Eucharist, Christ our God breaks his body, pours out his blood, and gives away his very self for us as food and drink.
Giving us HIMSELF, he gives MORE than we need— and not only what is good, but what is the absolute BEST, the HOLIEST, IMMEASURABLE AND WITHOUT BEGINNING OR END.
Here in his Eucharist, he overfeeds us.
This is a challenge and a paradox.
In the end, we receive what we need, and we are healed, fulfilled, and saved by receiving and participating in God SACRIFICING AND GIVING HIMSELF AWAY.
As the sons and daughters of God, we are made to be like God.
We are free, and it is in our nature— as God made us— to pour ourselves out like God, giving ourselves up, giving ourselves away.
Whether or not we are ready to do so, God still gives himself away.
Christ IS for US and for OUR salvation from the very beginning.
The Eucharist we offer and receive is God in Christ sacrificing himself, giving himself up, giving himself away: for US and to US— eternally overfeeding us at no final cost to our selves.

That God Be Glorified in All