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 23, 2009

For Thursday of the Sixteenth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Exodus 19:1-2,9-11,16-20b
Matthew 13:10-17

The Living God wanted the children of Israel to have faith in himself, but he also wanted them to have faith in Moses.
In the first reading he told Moses:
I am coming to you in a dense cloud,
so that when the people hear me speaking with you,
they may always have faith in YOU also.

As God and Moses spoke to each other, the people saw lightning, cloud, smoke and fire atop Mount Sinai; they heard thunder and trumpet blast.
The people trembled before the mystery.
To borrow the words of the Gospel, “they look but do not see ... hear but do not ... understand.”
Only Moses understood what God was saying; and Moses told the people.
To the end of his life, Moses was a zealous, faithful, consistent witness to the Word of God for his people.
In a similar way in the Gospel, Jesus gave open “knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven” to his disciples.
However, he gave the crowd only the parables that were mysterious, like the lightning, cloud, smoke, fire, thunder, and trumpet blast from atop Mount Sinai.
Crowds saw and heard the sights and sounds of Sinai and of Jesus; but only Moses and the disciples of Jesus received understanding of the mysteries.
God wanted the people to have faith in Moses, and to receive understanding through Moses.
Jesus wants people to have faith in the testimony of his disciples, and to receive understanding of Jesus from the testimony of his disciples.
Jesus wants us to testify as Moses testified to the end of his life.
Are we zealous, faithful, consistent, believable, respectable witnesses of Jesus or not?
Here at the Mount of the Mysteries, the Altar of the Eucharist, the Living God comes down.
Together with us, the eyes of the world see only a parabolic bit of bread and wine.
For us disciples who believe, these are really the Body and Blood of Christ, granting us “knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven.”
God gives them to us with his expectation that we will serve as his witnesses before the world.
“Do this in memory of me.”
Can the world recognize a memory of Jesus in the lives we choose to live?
As disciples of Jesus, do we have integrity?
He warns us today:
To anyone who has,
more will be given
and he will grow rich;
from anyone who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.

That God Be Glorified in All


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