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.

October 27, 2009

For Tuesday of the Thirtieth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Luke 13:18-21

Today Jesus tells us the kingdom of God is like a small thing that a man or woman may use in an ordinary way, and it slowly makes a big difference.
A mustard seed, a man working his garden, shrubs and trees, bird nests, yeast and dough, a woman baking— we know these things, and they are not unusual.
The kingdom of God may not be so familiar.
God, the Almighty, the Maker of all, the King of heaven!
We’d like him to do much more than plant seeds and make bread, and we’d like it now, not later.
We want the promised end result now: the end of sin, the end of suffering, the end of death, the coming of the new heavens and the new earth, the unending fullness of life and beauty and joy without measure.
That’s the promise in which we put our faith.
That’s what we hope to have.
The work of faith and the work of hope both need the greater work of love.
The work of faith is to believe God and his promises.
The work of hope is to want God and what he promises.
What is the work of love?
Believing and hoping, a man who loves God is a man who plants the kingdom of God in his daily work.
Believing and hoping, a woman who loves God works the kingdom of God into her daily baking.
Love plants and mixes faith and hope into daily life and work.
It calls for wisdom that searches out the good.
It calls for justice in giving God and neighbor what one owes them.
It calls for courage that stays the course.
It calls for balance or right measure in the use of time and the good of the world.
Those are human virtues.
Indeed, they are the four pivotal or cardinal human virtues: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance.
They are the work we do to make nature available for the work of grace that comes from God alone.
“Grace builds on nature,” and by working the natural human virtues we show up for grace to do its work.
The cardinal human virtues are the indispensable, earthly, human soil and flour into which we are to plant and mix what God alone can give: the kingdom of God and the powers of faith, hope, and love.
It is up to us men and women to commit the work of our daily lives to the unseen kingdom of God who tells us we are his partners in the work.
We may see some of the results in our own day, but then again, we might not.
None of us shall see all the results until God brings on the new heavens and the new earth.
Until then, Christ the King tells us what to do in his memory.
We are to be as food and drink served up and ready for eating and drinking.
Christ the King does so himself in his Eucharistic Body and Blood.
Here is the King whom we are to plant and work into the soil and the dough of our daily lives where he will one day reveal the fullness of his kingdom.

That God Be Glorified in All


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