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 31, 2008

For Thursday of the Seventeenth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Matthew 13:47-53

Jesus has now called his disciples “scribes” who have “been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven.”
They are to store, bring out, and use both what is new and what is old.
In the days of Jesus, a scribe among God’s people was a man learned both in Scripture and in tradition.
Scribes served as teachers, lawyers, counselors, and judges.
For some days now in the daily Gospel, Jesus has been telling us about the teachings, the laws, the counsels or wisdom, and the judgments or standards of the Kingdom of heaven.
So Jesus himself is the “Scribe of the Kingdom of Heaven.”
He brought out both old and new— old Scripture and new Scripture, old tradition and new tradition.
He did not throw out the old, but gave it new depth, fullness, and meaning.
He also brought what was utterly new.
He brought the news that all men shall rise from the dead.
That was news to the scribes of old.
Jesus brought the news that the resurrection will not be on earth as it has been, but to a new heaven and earth.
That was news to the scribes of old.
Jesus brought the news that those who are good shall rise from the dead to enjoy the new heaven and earth face to face with God in intimacy.
That was news to the scribes of old.
Jesus brought the news that those who are bad shall rise to suffer the unending sadness of their own self-imposed shutting out from God’s presence.
That was news to the scribes of old.
Then, Jesus brought the news to life in flesh and blood.
Never had God in person been a man of flesh and blood.
He came into the human race to uphold the old and original goodness of creation and man.
He came to break the Fall.
He came to begin the resurrection of man, give man new dignity, and glorify man.
In flesh and blood, the Son of God revealed his everlastingly old worship of the Father and his everlastingly new worship of the Father.
Jesus is the Scribe of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Scripture and Tradition, the teachings, laws, counsels, wisdom, judgments, standards, flesh and blood, dignity, glory and worship of the Kingdom of heaven— the whole of it comes to us in the Gospel and the Eucharist.
“Regarding the whole of it”— that is the literal meaning of the Greek word katholikos, “catholic”: “regarding the whole.”
All or nothing, that is what the Gospel and the Eucharist offer us and demand from us.

That God Be Glorified in All


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