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 30, 2009

For Tuesday of the Thirteenth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Genesis 19:15-29
Matthew 8:23-27

In both readings today, the Word of the Lord tells of deadly doom.
In the first, two angels in the shape of men brought down from God a fiery hail of burning sulfur that overthrew and destroyed the towns and townsfolk of Sodom and Gomorrah for their great evil.
In the Gospel, a man scolds the wild wind and the besetting sea, soothing their awful might and saving his fearful followers from death.
His followers had called out to him in their woe, “Lord, save us!”
“Save us”— in their mother tongue: hoshi‘a-nna, hosha‘na, for short— “hosanna,” as we say it.
The syllable hosh points to “salvation” in Hebrew.
It’s part of the name Yehoshua that means “The Lord saves.”
Yehoshua is indeed the Hebrew name “Jesus.”
After he saved them from deadly shipwreck in a storm, they asked, “What sort of man is this whom even the winds and the sea obey?”
They had already answered their own question.
“LORD, save us!”
“The Lord saves”— the meaning of Yehoshua, the name of “Jesus” in their mother tongue!
They called on his name, thus naming what “sort of man” he is.
However, after he saved them, they wondered what to name the “sort of man” he is.
Between the fearful cries and the amazed questioning of his followers, he rebuked the winds and the seas, but he rebuked his followers also.
“Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?”
Fear or faith— perhaps much that happens inside us throughout life bounces between fear and faith.
The Lord clearly wants our faith to be great, rather than little.
“Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?”
In the Eucharistic Body and Blood of Christ, the Lord and Savior in his open and intimate depths is with us, calling us to faith.
The Word of the Lord here today, in both the Old and the Gospel, tells of his mighty justice on the one hand and his saving might on the other.
If we deny the one, we cheapen the other, and overthrow the Lord down into our own comfort zones, thereby making a false idol in the image and likeness of our own preferences.
Even though he hands himself over to us in his Eucharistic Body and Blood, let us not take his majesty for granted, but worship and love and believe him for both his open, intimate depths and his surpassing, transcendent mysteries.
The Psalms are the voice of great faith in the Lord who saves.
Come and see what God has done:
he is terrible in his deeds among men.
He turned the sea into dry land;
men passed through the river on foot.
.... we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us forth to a spacious place.
I will come into your house with burnt offerings;
I will pay your my vows,
that which my lips uttered
and my mouth promised when I was in trouble. [From Psalm 65]

Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up;
God is our salvation.
Our God is a God of salvation; and to God,
the Lord, belongs escape from death. [From Psalm 67]

From the heavens you did utter judgment;
the earth feared and was still,
when God arose to establish judgment
to save all the oppressed of the earth.
.... Make your vows to the Lord your God,
and perform them [From Psalm 75]

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

That God Be Glorified in All


Blogger Ron said...

Fr. Stephanos

I just wanted to thank you for posting your homilies, for two reasons. In each of the last several I've learned something about Scripture that I hadn't known before, even as a former Presbyterian. For example, for some reason, I had never read or heard an explanation of where the word Hosanna comes from.

The other is that you also remind us of something that is easy to forget about our relations with our Lord. For example from today's, you point out that we sometimes take Him for granted. It's good, for me at least, to be reminded to think about that now and then.

God Bless

11:28 AM  

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