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.

April 07, 2009

For Tuesday of Holy Week

John 13:21-33,36-38
Isaiah 49:1-6

Today the Gospel seems overcast with gloom: Judas betrays, Peter denies.
All the apostles are soon to desert.
Beneath these dark clouds, the Word of God speaks his own glory.
The Lord of Prophecy calls himself his Father’s gleaming secret weapon.
He made of me a sharp-edged sword
and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
He made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me.
You are my servant, he said to me,
... through whom I show my glory.
.... And I am made glorious in the sight of the Lord,
and my God is now my strength!
... he says...
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

The glory of Christ, the Father’s secret weapon, also shines as St. Benedict [Prol.3] tells monks to wield the strong gleaming weapons of obedience as warriors for Christ the True Lord King.
The glory of Christ, the Father’s secret weapon, lay hidden beneath his undergoing betrayal, abandonment, denial, suffering, and death.
In his Gospel today, the personal warriors Christ chose are now to hand him over to his foes, desert him, and deny him.
Christ upholds all that is happening, but nonetheless he tells his glory.
Now is the Son of Man glorified,
and God is glorified in him.
If God is glorified in him,
God will also glorify him in himself,
and he will glorify him at once.

The weapon of secret glory is that the suffering and death of Christ are his anthem of obedience and thanksgiving.
His suffering and death!
His song that wields the might of the Holy Spirit!
His song to his Father who is God Most High!
His song that saves us and gives us peace from the goodwill of his Father!
Now risen from the dead in his Body and Blood that throb and thrive by the Spirit, Christ is our secret weapon, that in the warfare of earthly life already cleanses us from the defeat and death of sin, that we may live and rejoice in God and his kingdom.
The weapon and its might are for us to use.
Yet we are free to throw it down and desert, even as St. Peter did.
“Master, why can I not follow you now?
I will lay down my life for you.”
Jesus answered,
Will you lay down your life for me?
Amen, amen, I say to you,
the cock will not crow before you deny me three times.”

If we so fall, we have God’s goodwill to turn back to him again, and arrive at glory and peace by the open road of repentance.
St. Benedict [Prol.50] heartens us.
Never swerving from God’s mastery,
but standing fast in his teaching in the monastery until death,
we shall by patience share in the sufferings of Christ,
that we may be worthy also to be sharers in his kingdom.

That God Be Glorified in All