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.

August 17, 2009

For Monday of the Twentieth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Judges 2:11-19
Matthew 19:16-22

In the first reading, the Word of the Lord tells us the sons of Israel abandoned the Lord their God to follow foreign idols.
In his Gospel, the Lord tells one son of Israel to “come, follow me.”
The young man had asked the Lord, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?”
The Lord unfolds for him that the required condition for gaining entry into eternal life is to keep the commandments.
However, he starts and ends by making the question and the answer about himself.
Why do you ask me about the good?
There is only One who is good.

Then come, follow me.

Folded into the start and end of the Lord’s answer is that he himself is the “only One who is good,” and that one must follow him to gain entry into eternal life.
Between the start and the end of his answer, the Lord spells out some of the commandments, but only commandments about dealing with our fellow men.
He leaves out all three of the commandments about following God.
I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange gods before me.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Remember to keep holy the Lord’s day.

He replaces the three commandments about God with one commandment about himself: “come, follow me.”
Jesus has dared to put himself in the place of God, because he is God.
In the end the things we own are as bad as idols, if what we own on earth is more important to us than treasure in heaven.
If you wish to be perfect,
sell what you have
and give to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven.
Then come,
follow me.

To be here in this place, to start with the Lord in his Gospel, and to end with the Lord in his Body and Blood, is to own him as our Lord and God.
We must uphold this ownership in all the moments of our lives, so that nothing can be an idol.
“There is only One who is good.”
Following him in keeping the commandments in all that we do is the good we must do to gain eternal life.

That God Be Glorified in All


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