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.

April 26, 2008

For Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter

John 15:18-21

Today Jesus speaks of four parties: God his Father, Jesus himself, his disciples, the world.
He speaks of his Father as “the one who sent me.”
Jesus speaks of the world as not knowing God who sent him, the world as having hated Jesus, as having rejected what he says, as having persecuted him, as hating his disciples, as persecuting them, as rejecting what they say.
What Jesus says today is categorical.
Until the end of the world, until the new heavens and the new earth, there will be opposition to Jesus in the world.
There may be historical fluctuation up and down in the fraction of humanity that belongs to Jesus, but there will always be opposition to Jesus.
In fact, the New Testament says opposition to Jesus will grow as the end of the world approaches.
Jesus in his Gospel today reminds us to expect to be hated and persecuted because we belong to him.
Do we really belong to Jesus?
Belonging to him is not a matter of our claiming to belong to him.
It is not a matter of saying, “I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.”
Rather, belonging to Jesus is a matter of Jesus choosing us.
He says today, “I have chosen you out of the world.”
What is up to us is to accept or reject that Jesus has chosen us.
He has chosen us to join him in the Everlasting Covenant of his Body and Blood.
If we freely take, eat, and drink, we are accepting a choice Jesus has made to have us belong to him, as he says today:
you do not belong to the world ... I have chosen you out of the world

He has a claim on us, but his claim does not enslave.
His claim on us sets us free to receive from him.
Immediately before today’s Gospel he said:
a SLAVE does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you FRIENDS,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you

I have called you FRIENDS,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.

Everything he has from his Father he has given to us.
The first sin of human history, the sin that enslaved us, was the sin of believing that God would NOT give us everything, the sin of believing that we would have to reach out and take it for ourselves.
Our new freedom will come from allowing God to reach out and take us for himself.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you

I have called you FRIENDS,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.

We might take the Body and Blood of Christ, but we must see our taking as allowing God in Christ to take us.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you

If we allow God his choice of us, it will guarantee us hatred from the world until the end of the world, but it will take us into the Everlasting Covenant of friendship with the Son of God and a share in his Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you

I have called you FRIENDS,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.

UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All







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