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, 2009

For Friday of the Fifteenth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Matthew 12:1-8
Exodus 11:10-12,14

In the old law of God, anyone who did work on the Sabbath, such as collect firewood, or harvest food, was worthy of stoning to death.
Today in the Gospel is the Sabbath, but the followers of Jesus are so hungry they pull off heads of grain, and eat them raw straight from the stalk right there in the field.
Jesus pushes the protesting Pharisees for mercy, since his followers are hungry.
However, that is not all he does.
He uses what is happening to throw light on himself.
I say to you, something greater than the temple is here.

For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.

The only thing greater than the temple is God himself; and the Lord of the Sabbath is God himself.
Jesus, the Son of Man, is here as God who is greater than the temple, and as God who is Lord of the Sabbath.
By upholding that, Jesus commits blasphemy, and now he too is worthy of stoning to death.
It is as if to say to the Pharisees: “You think my followers are bad, but I am much worse, and here’s how, and in your faces.”
He is not putting on a macho strut.
Rather, he is shielding his hungry followers, taking the punishment for sin upon himself, and upholding the truth that he is God.
He is the unblemished, male Passover Lamb, whose blood marks the temples of God’s mercy, kills the enslavement of sin, and gives freedom to the sinner.
The Body and Blood of Christ the Passover Lamb opens the way and strengthens us for our escape from the enslavement of sin.
In the Body and Blood of Christ, we eat and drink his freedom, but then either we use it, or we lose it.
We need to follow him— even forty years in the desert— on a road that obeys the New and Everlasting Covenant he made with us in his own Blood.
Our obedience to his Covenant is a road to his Promised Land and his Temple in the Heavenly Jerusalem.
There we shall celebrate with him an everlasting Sabbath of joy and life.

That God Be Glorified in All


Blogger Shawn said...

Great homily, Father. It seems that too many people overlook that a claim to be "greater than the temple" is a tantamount to a claim of divinity. Such deep mystery in these words of Christ.

7:49 AM  

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