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 Tuesday of the Fifteenth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Matthew 11:20-24

The townsfolk of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum were Galilean.
As such, they believed in true God.
Jesus did most of his mighty deeds in those three towns.
He gave sight to their blind.
He made their lame walk again.
He freed their lepers of disease.
He gave hearing to their deaf.
He even raised their dead.
To their poor he preached his Gospel— which for him, earlier in this same chapter [Mt. 11:4-5], is the culmination of his list of mighty deeds.
After all that, and since they believed in true God, Jesus expected them all the more to repent.
Jesus expects people of God to repent.
He speaks today of repentance “in sackcloth and ashes”— repentance serious enough to make even the body uncomfortable.
If we fail to repent, he says today in his Gospel:
Woe to you on the day of judgment!
Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the netherworld.

We have received Christ’s mighty deed of Baptism— Baptism into his death and resurrection.
We bear the name of Christ.
We come here daily to meet him in his mighty Gospel.
Everyday here we eat and drink the mightiest deed of his Eucharistic Body and Blood.
His Body and Blood in which he took on more than sackcloth and ashes!
In which he took on our sins, our lack of repentance, our suffering, our death, our punishment, the cross and the nails!
To expect the mighty deed of the Body and Blood of Christ here is to expect the deadly repentance of Jesus in our place and the atonement of Jesus in our place.
Today in his Gospel he harshly warns that he expects repentance from us who benefit from his mighty deeds.
All the more from us who dare to expect his Eucharist!
Repentance from us, or woe to us, says Jesus today.
We have come here, at least in part, to get what we want from God.
Are we going to give him the repentance he expects?
In the end, God’s expectation of our repentance is not for him, but for us.
He hints at that today.
Will you be exalted to heaven?

Exaltation to heaven is what repentance FINALLY gets.
Exaltation to heaven is what ONLY repentance gets.

That God Be Glorified in All


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