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.

July 17, 2008

For the Solemnity of Our Lady of Einsiedeln, 16 July

John 19:25-27
Zephaniah 3:14-18a
Galatians 4:4-8

Some of our guests today may be surprised to find us celebrating our Lady under the title of “Einsiedeln” instead of Mount Carmel.
Our Lady’s chapel at Mount Carmel in the Holy Land goes back to the late eleven hundreds.
However, devotion to our Lady at Einsiedeln, Switzerland, is older than that by about two and half centuries.
The monastery at Einsiedeln, Switzerland was founded in the year 934.
Monks from Einsiedeln came to Indiana, U.S.A., in 1854, and built the monastery of St. Meinrad with a church that they named “Our Lady of Einsiedeln.”
In 1958, the monks of St. Meinrad started our monastery here, Prince of Peace Abbey.
This church in which we now worship at Prince of Peace Abbey is named after our Lady of Einsiedeln and enshrines a copy of her darkened image.
In Einsiedeln, Switzerland, the original monastic sanctuary and altar housed a relic of our Lord’s True Cross.
The founding monks of the year 934 in Einsiedeln also honored our Lord’s blessed Mother in their sanctuary of the Cross, so that her statue stands at the altar of the Cross.
So, today in the Gospel, we monastic disciples in the tradition of Einsiedeln return to the Cross to witness the Lord entrusting Mary and his disciple to each other as new mother and new son.
In the Church we become disciples of Christ, witnesses of his Gospel and participants in his Eucharistic pact with humanity, offering worship to the Father in heaven, and receiving our own salvation in that worship.
Mary, at the Cross in the Gospel today, receives the disciple as her new son from Christ her Divine Son.
Mary is the mother of all who obey Christ and take up their crosses to follow him.
Practically two thousand years before any Christian on earth today, Mary was already standing at the foot of the cross of Christ.
If we obey Christ and take up our crosses to follow him, Mary as mother will always be the sign that we are headed in the right direction.
At the beginning of the Lord’s public earthly mission, Mary told the servants of her Son, “Do whatever he tells you.”
At the consummation of the Lord’s public earthly mission, that is, at his cross, the Lord’s only and last words to his Disciple Church were about his mother: “Behold, YOUR mother.”
In the communion of the saints, at the consummation of the Lord’s earthly mission, Mary stands as Mother at the side of her Son’s beloved disciples.
She joins us in the Eucharist just as she stood with the disciple at the foot of the cross on Golgotha.
By being with us for the redemptive sacrifice of her Son, Mary accompanies us to witness his victory over sin and death.
She leads us here to be overshadowed in body and Spirit by her Son’s redeeming Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Cross.
Here God gives us his flesh and blood as food and drink.
Here in his Eucharist, God calls out to the Church as the angel Gabriel called out to Mary:
Hail, full of grace!
The Lord is with Thee.

In our monastery churches, in the Eucharistic House of the Son of Mary, we monks in the tradition of Einsiedeln, have borrowed the Gospel song of Mary in proclaiming every evening for more than a thousand years:
He who is mighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name!

That God Be Glorified in All


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