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.

May 23, 2009

For Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter

John 16:23b-28

Until now in the Gospel, the disciples have not asked the Father anything in the name of Jesus.
Until now, they have not asked as Christian believers.
Until now, they have asked in their own name as Jews, as the Chosen People of God.
Today in the Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples “you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God”— from the Father who “himself loves you.”
To ask the Father in the name of Jesus is to believe Jesus is the Son of God, and to dare ask as a son who knows God is his Father.
While here on the earth, Jesus prayed in our name to the Father.
Now that he has ascended to the Father, Jesus entitles us to pray in his name as sons of God.
He holds out to us a share in his dignity as the Son of God, and we are to mind that dignity when we pray.
He says, “I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you.”
Rather, “you will ask in my name.”
Thus says Jesus Lord and God:
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name
he will give you.
Until now you have not asked anything in my name;
ask and you will receive,
so that your joy may be complete.

That our “joy may be complete”— Jesus upholds that the rightful goal of our prayer is the fullness of our joy.
Fullness of joy is the goal Jesus gives to our prayer.
However, he upholds that prayer must spring from the faith and love that we live out for the Son of God.
... you have loved me
and have come to believe that I came from God.

... ask in my name....

... you will receive,
so that your joy may be complete.

If we have believed in the Son of God, and if we have loved him in thought, word, and deed, then he entitles us to the fullness of joy, so that we may one day stand with him and say as he says:
I came from the Father
and have come into the world.
Now I am leaving the world
and going back to the Father.

To live now as disciples of Jesus is to ascend to the fullness of joy.
To ascend to the fullness of joy, we must live as disciples of Jesus.

That God Be Glorified in All

May 18, 2009

For Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter

John 15:26 to 16:4a

Today Christ gives the Holy Spirit several names.
First of all: the name of “Spirit”— that in the Biblical tongues is “breath”.
Breath is such a power and sign of life that when we say “all that breathes” we are naming all the living.
Whose living, life-giving Breath is Christ naming?
He calls it “the Spirit of truth”, the Breath of truth.
He says the living and life-giving Breath of truth proceeds or goes forth from the Father.
Though it goes forth from the Father, it is Christ who sends that Breath to us.
The Breath of Truth that goes forth from the Father and the Son, the Breath of Truth that the Son sends to us also has another name that the Son tells us today: “Advocate”.
“Advocate” in the Gospel tongue is “Paraclete”— the name for someone who is “called in” to be a helper.
“Advocate” and “Paraclete” are forensic names, names from the law courts of Biblical antiquity.
An “advocate” or “paraclete” helps a man to testify in public.
That is exactly what Christ says today about the Spirit— Breath of Truth— that he sends and that comes forth from the Father.
The Spirit Breath comes to us to give public testimony about Christ and to help us also give testimony about Christ.
Breath keeps bodies alive, but breath also makes spoken words possible.
So then, God’s Breath of Truth would help us stay alive with the truth, would help us live the truth in our bodies, live the truth in the world, speak the truth with our lives, and speak the truth in the world.
Christ upholds this in his Gospel today.
He also upholds that the testimony of the Father’s Breath of Truth in our lives is to be such that some would kill us, thinking they are “offering worship to God” by doing so.
As Christ says this, let us mind that we also can think we are “offering worship to God”, while in fact we are dead to the truth.
Here in his Body and Blood, Christ himself sends us the Father’s Spirit Breath of Truth.
As we eat, drink, and breathe the truth that comes from God, we need to choose to speak and live out the truth that comes from God.
Otherwise, we leave ourselves dead to the truth, while thinking that we are “offering worship to God”.
However, if the worship and testimony of our lives are true, and remain so, then the everlasting joy, goodness, glory, and life of God— Father, Son, and Spirit— have already begun to be ours.

That God Be Glorified in All