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.

March 20, 2009

For Friday of the Third Week of Lent

Mark 12:28-34

Since the Lord names soul, mind, and strength as tools of love, it is clear he means love is not merely a feeling.
Rather, soul, mind, and strength can love, even if feelings may go another way.
Christ teaches that love believes, desires, thanks, and obeys God with its whole being.
Love imitates God by doing what is authentically good for the neighbor.
To love my neighbor as myself calls for faithfulness to what is good and right, whether feelings come or go, wax or wane.
If I am not mindful, and do not work for the right and the good, I leave my feelings to flutter in the unforeseeable tides of the wrong, the bad, and the indifferent.
Then sadness, anger, and fear leave less room for joy to be at home.
For thousands of years— even without God’s word— men and women have watched and learned that doing the right and the good can open a better home for feelings— feelings of joy— to live well and grow well.
The scribe who spoke to Jesus in the Gospel today had begun to recognize the greatest such home, the one Jesus called “The Kingdom of God.”
“You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
On Good Friday, at the cost of his whole being, Jesus the Nazarene, the King, did the right and the good for his Father and his neighbor.
He loved them all at the cost of his whole soul, whole mind, and whole strength.
Despite his feelings!
Despite sorrow and loathing so great they sweated and bled out of his skin!
Forgetful of self, mindful of God and neighbor, love in person in flesh and blood stopped at nothing to build the only home where joy could rise from the dead and be alive forever.
His soul, his mind, and his strength are what we eat and drink, that we might choose to love as he loves, and come to rejoice forever with him in his Kingdom.

That God Be Glorified in All

March 16, 2009

For Monday of the Third Week of Lent

Luke 4:24-30

This day in the Gospel saw the synagogue of Nazareth try to kill Christ.
Today, some natives of Nazareth are Christians.
Just think what it means to native Nazareth Christians to read or pray as we pray three times a day: “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”
Today in the Gospel we see the Word made flesh come home to Nazareth where he dwelt among us— all the people of the world.
He called himself a prophet— a man who spoke God’s word.
Today in the Gospel, the Word of God has hit home, only to meet rejection and an attempt to hurt or kill him.
Inasmuch as sin works on each of us, we may each reject, hurt, or kill the Word of God inside us when he hits home.
Through the Word of God, Adam and Eve and all things were made.
In the delightful garden, “Eden,” “Paradise,” the Word made our race of flesh, and he blessed us [Gen. 1:28].
Then, the Enemy came, told us a lie, saying the Word of God was no good [Gen. 3:4-5].
We chose to believe that, and we ate it up.
We drove the Word of God out of our hearts, and we found ourselves no longer dwelling with him.
That was the death of us.
Now the flesh he made for us always dies among us.
There would be no hope for us, but that of late, in the fullness of the time, the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.
Then, we killed him in his personal flesh.
Unbeknownst to us, and for our sake, God had made his sinless Word to BE sin [2 Cor. 5:21].
In the strangest of twists, the ancient Enemy’s lie turns into a life-giving truth.
God’s Word that is all good became sin in the flesh, so that sin might die in the flesh.
Becoming the death of sin itself, the Word of God in flesh rose bearing us into the righteousness of God [2 Cor. 5:21].
In Christ, our flesh is also the Word of God, and dwells among the Father and the Spirit on the throne of God.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, we have a choice.
We can choose or not to believe the Word of God, to eat and drink his Body and Blood, by his Spirit of power to live as his Body and Blood, and so rise as his Body and Blood in a covenant of new and everlasting life and joy.
God makes his appeal through those who are ambassadors for Christ, beseeching us on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God [2 Cor. 5:20].
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” [2 Cor. 5:21]

That God Be Glorified in All