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.

June 01, 2009

For Monday of the Ninth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Tobit 1:3; 2:1a-8
Mark 12:1-12

In the first reading today, the Book of Tobit tells of a murder on Pentecost.
Yesterday Fr. Abbot reminded us Pentecost is a feast of the ancient people of God, the Jews.
Among other things, Pentecost commemorates God making his covenant with his people at Mount Sinai.
The people of the Sinai Covenant saw the fire of God’s presence atop the mountain.
On the feast of the Sinai Covenant, the apostles of Christ received God’s fire from on high, and so the mission of the Church fired up in public for the first time since the resurrection of Christ.
That very day, three thousand men received the New and Everlasting Covenant in Baptism at the hands of the apostles of Christ.
Christ made the New Everlasting Covenant in his Blood.
Covenants were always in blood.
In the Sinai Covenant, the blood of cattle was thrown to God upon his altar was thrown upon the people who agreed to accept in blood the Covenant from God.
In the Gospel today, the parable Jesus tells us is a reminder for us of his own personal blood that was shed for us “and for the many so that sins may be forgiven.”
The New Everlasting Covenant from the Lord Jesus is different from all the others that came before.
It is different in that its blood is that of Christ, rather than of cattle.
His New Everlasting Covenant is different also in that is “so that sins may be forgiven.”
Before Christ, no covenant was for the forgiveness of sins.
This is my body... given up for you.
This is... my blood...
... shed for you and for the many
so that sins may be forgiven.

Sin was the first origin of all disorder and death in human history.
We need to turn from sin to heed the call of the covenant and receive its forgiveness.
We eat and drink it, but then we need to hold honestly to its strength by fighting sin.
The life of the covenant comes to us, but we live it only by choosing.
We first step up for this covenant when “we acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins” and the Holy Spirit anoints us for Eucharistic Communion as sons and daughters in the Anointed One Son of God.
Baptism and Anointed Confirmation are once and for all.
Baptism and Anointed Confirmation are like bodily birth in that one is born the child of another only once.
However, if we do not eat food throughout natural life, we shall die sooner than nature would have it.
In the same way, Jesus says, “If you do not eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in you.”
Baptism and the Anointing of Confirmation are the first two sacraments of our initiation into the life of Christ.
Holy Communion in the Eucharistic Body and Blood of Christ is the sacrament of ONGOING Christian initiation throughout our lives.
To echo today’s Gospel: we kill the Father’s Heir, and trample his Covenant if we are not ONGOING in turning the harvest of our lives over to God who first turned himself over to us in his Son.
We shall gain everlasting joy by handing ourselves over to Christ.

That God Be Glorified in All


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