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 07, 2009

For Tuesday of the Fourteenth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Genesis 32:23-33
Matthew 9:32-38

In the first reading from the Word of the Lord today we hear of name changes.
Jacob is now “Israel,” which means either, “He fights with God,” or, “God fights.”
It may also mean, “God rules.”
The man Israel then gave a name to the place where he had “seen God face to face, calling it “Peniel,” which means, “the face of God.”
Today in the Gospel, there is also naming, and also the face of God.
God in Christ is face-to-face with mankind, and he is “moved with pity for” mankind that he names “troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.”
We could change the image of sheep without shepherds to that of children without parents, and it would call forth the same pity.
“Troubled and abandoned”— like children without father and mother.
Jesus spoke as one of the children of mankind from the cross.
My God, my God!
Why have you abandoned me?

He did more than lament, for he also interceded on the cross.
Forgive them!
They do not know not what they are doing.

“Forgive them,” since it was not the Father who abandoned mankind, but mankind that abandoned the Father, and killed his Son.
Mankind that is “troubled and abandoned” lacks true shepherds, true fathers, and true mothers.
Rather than do it all himself, Jesus told his followers to “ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”
The Son of God is the foremost in the care of “troubled and abandoned” mankind.
Today his Gospel also tells us how he cares for mankind.
First, he restored the dignity of speech to a man that a demon had silenced.
Speech makes man like God and the angels, and puts man above sheep and all other animals.
Using the dignity of man’s speech:
Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.

Nonetheless, he always leaves mankind free to choose to abandon God again.
In his Eucharistic Body and Blood, he gives us “Peniel,” the face of God who wants to do good for us by the power of the Holy Spirit and the will of the Father.
From here, we need to uphold and carry the truth and goodness of God, spreading it abroad in all places, at all times, in all our thoughts, words, and deeds.
Otherwise, “troubled and abandoned” we shall stay.

That God Be Glorified in All



Dear Reverend Father, Next week your abbey hosts a discernment retreat. I offer my prayers that your abbey may have good success and identify many qualified candidates for holy vocation.


2:01 PM  

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