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.

February 15, 2008

For Friday of the First Week of Lent

Matthew 5:20-26

Today Jesus recites a litany of threats:
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven...
you will be liable to judgment...
you will be answerable to the Sanhedrin...
you will be liable to fiery Gehenna...
you will be thrown into prison...
you will not be released until you have paid...

All of that shall befall us if we are not more upright than the scribes and Pharisees.
Those men kept the laws, but that’s all they did.
Jesus does not set aside the laws, but he tells us to do also what’s behind the laws and inside the laws.
You shall not kill— not with your thoughts, not with your words, not with your hands, nor by what you fail to do— you shall not kill.
If you have failed your brother, or wronged him in thought, word, or deed, you shall make amends to him, before you offer your worship at the altar.
If you have failed or wronged a brother, that’s what God will see and condemn if you try to offer worship at his altar.
Jesus speaks today of the altar as both where we offer worship and where we undergo judgment.
Later on, the Word of the Lord [1 Cor. 11:27-29] tells us that if we eat and drink the Body and Blood of Christ in an unworthy manner, we will be guilty of profaning them, and thereby eat and drink judgment upon ourselves.
Christ handed himself over, and gave up his Body and Blood to judgment and punishment in our stead, the innocent for the guilty, the Holy One dying for lawbreakers who are not even as righteous as the scribes and Pharisees.
By dying for us lawbreakers, Jesus surpassed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees.
By dying for us lawbreakers, Jesus both upheld the righteousness of the law and surpassed it.
If we come here to the altar, we must ask ourselves first if we have repented and made amends for our sins for which Christ in his Body and Blood underwent judgment and death.
If we have first sought forgiveness from brother and from God, then the worship we offer here at the altar will overturn the Gospel’s litany of threats into one of blessings to eat and drink.
you will be released...
you will come out of prison...
you will avoid fiery Gehenna...
you will be absolved of the Sanhedrin...
you will escape judgment...
you will enter into the Kingdom of heaven...

UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All







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