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.

November 07, 2007

For the Feast of Saint Diego de Alcalá, 7 November in the Diocese of San Diego, California

Luke 22:24-30
1 Corinthians 1 26:-31

This Gospel is during the Last Supper.
The apostles argue about which apostle is the GREATEST.
Jesus now teaches that things must be otherwise among them.
This is not the first time the apostles have had this squabble.
They once wrangled over being “GREATER-than-thou” when Jesus had told them:
every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands,
for my name’s sake,
will receive a hundredfold,
and inherit eternal life.

That spells out what we now call poverty, celibacy, and obedience— a way of life that Saint Diego vowed and lived, a way of life that Jesus lived, and that he challenged his apostles to live.
To follow Christ by leaving houses and lands is poverty, the renouncing of private ownership and profit.
To follow Christ by celibacy is to forego family life with a spouse and children.
Finally, poverty and celibacy for the sake of Christ is obedience that gives a motive and a goal to both poverty and celibacy.
Following Christ’s example of missionary preaching and work demanded of the apostles everything that poverty, celibacy, and obedience demand.
As reward Christ says today that confers on them a kingdom from his Father.
Poverty, celibacy, and obedience serve the kingdom of heaven that turns upside-down the practicalities and priorities of the world.
As Christ says in his Gospel today:
For who is GREATER:
the one seated at table
or the one who serves?
Is it not the one seated at table?
I— the GREATER One—
am among you as the one who serves.

The GREATEST and Holiest One speaks to his bickering apostles at his Last Supper, where he has already slaved at washing their feet, and is also to be for them and for all a lamb butchered to feed and save them and all other sinners.
These upside-down motives, upside-down methods, and upside-down goals of poverty, celibacy, and obedience appear in the life St. Diego chose to live.
These motives, methods, and goals also come to us in the first reading today:
you are in Christ Jesus,
who became for us wisdom from God,
as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption

In his Eucharist he is a sacrificial communion banquet of wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.
In his Eucharist he who was poor, celibate, and obedient is still the GREATEST One choosing to be the slave to the least of us sinners.

That God Be Glorified in All