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 21, 2007

For Thursday of the Eleventh Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Matthew 6:7-15

In praying, we are not to “babble like the pagans.”
Rather, we are to pray like the Son of God.
The Lord’s Prayer, like his entire Gospel, addresses two great side-by-side movements.
Side-by-side, or even inside each other, the two movements are: first, giving glory to the Father; and second, bringing men to salvation.
The first movement, glory to the Father: “hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done.”
The second movement— salvation— starts in English with the words “Give us this day our daily bread.”
It continues by asking for forgiveness.
It reaches the height of its swing by asking for final victory.
In English, we have a difficulty in the words “daily bread.”
The original language of the Gospel does not use the word for “daily” in speaking of this bread.
Instead, it uses a word that means “above being” or even “above
It speaks of the bread that is “higher than life,” the bread that is more than the bread of this earth.
Notice the position of this bread in the Lord’s Prayer.
It comes in-between prayer that glorifies the Father and prayer that seeks our salvation.
Here at the altar, our Father is going to give us THIS day “Our Bread that Is Higher than Life.”
This banquet is Christ praying and giving glory to the Father in self-sacrifice.
It is Christ praying and giving salvation to men in self-sacrifice.
The Eucharist is Christ who prays and sacrifices himself to give glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men for whom God wills what is good.
If we dare to receive the “Banquet that Is Higher than Life,” we must choose to live it this day and all days, or else final victory shall not be ours.
We shall not have worshiped.
We shall not be saved.
We shall not have prayed at all, but merely babbled like the pagans.

That God Be Glorified in All

June 17, 2007

For the Eleventh Ordinary Sunday of the Church Year

Luke 7:36-50

A silent, uninvited woman, known publicly for her many sins, enters a house and interrupts a meal.
She remains silent, but her tears and unveiled hair are a confession of her many sins, her contrition, and her repentance.
With her flowing tears she washes the feet of Christ.
Everything she does without a sound tells Christ what she believes and what she wants.
You speak for the Almighty.
I beg the Lord God
who works in you
to see my sorrow and my repentance,
and to forgive my many sins.

She puts herself on the floor.
Using her hair, she wipes her tears from the feet of Christ.
Then, humbling herself even more, she kisses his feet, thereby telling again and deeply of her sorrow, her conversion, and her reverence for God in Christ.
Last of all, she sacrifices a precious jar of perfumed oil, and lavishes it all on the feet of Christ.
Up to now, she and the Divine Prophet have not let a single word come out of their mouths.
Simon the Pharisee mutters silently in his thoughts.

If this man were a prophet,
he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him,
that she is a sinner.

Then, for the first time at this banquet, someone speaks out loud.
It is the Prophet, the Voice of God, the Word of God, Christ the Lord.
you did not ANOINT—
to my HEAD.
This woman has ANOINTED—
even to my FEET—
with MESSIANIC oil.

The words of Christ are loaded with Biblical meaning.
With MESSIANIC self-confidence, Christ heaps up the scandal higher and higher.
the many sins of this woman are forgiven;
and so she has shown great love.

For you, Simon,
little is forgiven;
and little do you love.

Then, the Anointed Son of God tells the woman a thing that is a bigger scandal than anything yet.
Christ openly speaks as GOD, and absolves the woman.
Your sins are forgiven.
Your faith has saved you.
Go in peace.

The spoken word of absolution in the Holy Gospel— and also in the Sacrament of Penance— the spoken word is the sign and instrument that wipes away sins.
Today in his Gospel, Christ has not yet died for sin; but he already owns authority to forgive sins.
So also at his Last Supper, where he already gives his sacrificed Body and Blood to his Church, even before his suffering and death.
Here in the Blessed Eucharist, Christ the Word of God gives glory to his Father, and wants to see us repent, wants to save us, wants to tell us the same as he told the woman after she turned back to God.
Your sins are forgiven.
Your faith has saved you.
Go in peace.

That God Be Glorified in All