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 20, 2009

For Friday of the Third Week of Lent

Mark 12:28-34

Since the Lord names soul, mind, and strength as tools of love, it is clear he means love is not merely a feeling.
Rather, soul, mind, and strength can love, even if feelings may go another way.
Christ teaches that love believes, desires, thanks, and obeys God with its whole being.
Love imitates God by doing what is authentically good for the neighbor.
To love my neighbor as myself calls for faithfulness to what is good and right, whether feelings come or go, wax or wane.
If I am not mindful, and do not work for the right and the good, I leave my feelings to flutter in the unforeseeable tides of the wrong, the bad, and the indifferent.
Then sadness, anger, and fear leave less room for joy to be at home.
For thousands of years— even without God’s word— men and women have watched and learned that doing the right and the good can open a better home for feelings— feelings of joy— to live well and grow well.
The scribe who spoke to Jesus in the Gospel today had begun to recognize the greatest such home, the one Jesus called “The Kingdom of God.”
“You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
On Good Friday, at the cost of his whole being, Jesus the Nazarene, the King, did the right and the good for his Father and his neighbor.
He loved them all at the cost of his whole soul, whole mind, and whole strength.
Despite his feelings!
Despite sorrow and loathing so great they sweated and bled out of his skin!
Forgetful of self, mindful of God and neighbor, love in person in flesh and blood stopped at nothing to build the only home where joy could rise from the dead and be alive forever.
His soul, his mind, and his strength are what we eat and drink, that we might choose to love as he loves, and come to rejoice forever with him in his Kingdom.

That God Be Glorified in All


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