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.

March 25, 2008

For Tuesday within the Octave of Easter, the Passover of Our Lord Jesus Christ

John 20:11-18
Acts 2:36-41

In the place where Jesus had been crucified there was a garden with a new tomb that had never held a body, and that was where Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus buried the body of Jesus: a virginal tomb in a garden.
In the beginning, after the Lord God made man’s body, and breathed into his body the Spirit of Life, the Lord God then took up gardening, changing the order of his creation by planting a garden; and that garden was where the Lord God put the living being called “man”: a virginal garden.
The burial of the Lord Jesus in a garden’s virginal tomb and his new life in that garden are signs that our Lord and God has made for us a new “In the Beginning.”
“In the Beginning,” the Lord God was a gardener, and now Mary Magdalene takes the Lord God for a gardener.
Mary does not yet know that all things are again “In the Beginning,” that the Lord God is a gardener, and that the gardener is the Lord God.
Mary is looking for a dead body, not a living being.
“Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.”
She’s ready, all alone, to take on the dead weight of a corpse with her own hands.
The Holy Gardener suddenly opens her mind to know who he really is, but she immediately closes her hands upon the body of him who is no longer dead.
He commands her to let go, but he puts something else in her hands.
She is to carry news for the brethren that the human body ascends in Jesus to his Father who is their Father and their God.
That is what we are to grab onto and carry to others—
— that for us men and for our salvation, he has risen from the dead with a living body that Mary Magdalene actually held with her own two hands—
— that in him our once-defeated, but everlastingly victorious flesh and blood shows itself off from the throne of God—
— that this is our new “In the Beginning.”
Stop holding onto me,
for I have not yet ascended to the Father.
But go to my brothers and tell them,
“I am going to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God.”

How is this new beginning to take shape in our lives?
What are we to do?
Fifty days after Mary Magdalene grabbed the resurrection, the apostle Peter told us what to do.
Repent and be baptized,
every one of you,
in [Greek, “epi”] the name of Jesus Christ,
for [Greek, “eis”] the forgiveness of your sins;
and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Repent: to turn over our feelings, thoughts, and choices in light of the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus.
Be baptized: to hand over our real bodies to be dunked INTO [Greek, “eis”] the forgiveness of our sins, the forgiveness that stands UPON [Greek, “epi”] Jesus himself— to hand over our real bodies in Baptism through which God hands over his Holy Spirit to us.
Mary Magdalene held the resurrection in her own two hands.
With her, we are to let go of the dead past of sin in our thoughts, words, and deeds, and, through repentance and Baptism, to carry instead the new beginning, the resurrection, in our thoughts words, deeds.
As surely as the water of Baptism did actually wet our heads bodily, our bodies shall rise as real as the one Mary Magdalene took hold of in the garden.
If we have truly repented, then by the Holy Spirit we shall ascend in flesh and blood to join Jesus with his Father who is our Father and God.
This shall be so, as surely as the flesh and blood he gives us to eat and drink.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,
by the will of the Father
and the work of the Holy Spirit,
your death brought life to the world.
By your holy Body and Blood,
free me from all my sins and from every evil,
keep me faithful to your teaching,
and never let me be parted from you.
[The private prayer of preparation before a priest receives Holy Communion]

That God Be Glorified in All


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never thought about it until I read this posting: how Jesus' life was 100% consistent. From a virginal birth to a virginal tomb. Every single detail of His life on this Earth had a meaning and consistency that witness His perfection!

3:20 PM  

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