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 29, 2009

For Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter

John 21:15-19

Before his death, the Lord had said:
I am the good shepherd.
The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

A hired man does not own the sheep,
and when he sees the wolf coming
he leaves the sheep
and he runs away.

I am the good shepherd.
The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Today, he commands Simon Peter three times to be a good shepherd in the Lord’s place.
Feed my lambs.

Tend my sheep.

Feed my sheep.

Then the Lord foretells that Simon Peter will fulfill the same path as the Lord, that Simon Peter would lay down his own life for the Lord’s flock, so that by “death he would glorify God.”
The Eucharistic words of Christ the Good Shepherd will resound
from the altar in a few moments.
From his altar, he truly upholds himself as the Lamb of God in his true body given up for us, and in his true blood shed for us in death by which he glorified the Father.
Sometimes we flock as sheep to him, and we hear his voice, as he would have it, and we follow him, as he would have it.
Other times we may tear into him as wolves, wanting our own way, thinking the Lord is there merely to satisfy our needy hungers.
Then, other times, like hired men, we take our “pay” from the altar, but then we run away, frightened of the work the Lord gives us.
From his altar he invites us to eat and drink a covenant in his body and blood, and to do what he does in memory of him.
This is my body... given up for you

This is... my blood... shed for you

Do this in memory of me.

... do you love me more...?

Follow me.

That God Be Glorified in All

May 26, 2009

For Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter

[Today is also the Memorial of Saint Philip Neri]

John 17:1-11

Christ ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father.
He wants us to be with him in glory.
That wish fills his prayer in his Gospel today.
Today we hear only the first part of his prayer.
He goes on to say [Jn. 17:24]:
Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which you have given me in your love for me before the foundation of the world.

He wants us, and we belong to him.
He wants us to follow him to the Father.
He calls us to that by the news of God’s desire and will for us.
In hope and in faith we embrace God’s goodwill, and by love we embrace the mission he gives us.
We underwent baptism into God— Father, Son, and Spirit.
So, we are inside the love that the Father and the Son have for each other.
Because of Baptism, we are inside their communion with each other.
Baptism has put us inside their oneness that is the Holy Spirit.
That we are alive at all is already the fruit of God’s love overflowing in action.
Though sin overtook us, and though we freely chose to go along with sin, God has always been calling and reaching out as our savior, for his love never gives up.
Though Christ has fulfilled our ransom, he wants for us much more than freedom from sin.
He wants us to live in glory at his side.
That is the mission his Father chose to give him on earth.
Together with the Father and the Son, the Spirit is also at work.
The Spirit helps us choose and helps us work to enter into what Christ has already fulfilled: to enter the love that Christ has for the Father, and to receive the love the Father has for Christ.
The Holy Spirit works to have us enter the Son’s love for his Father, and the Holy Spirit works for us to receive the Father’s love for his Son.
Hoping for all of that, we work with the Holy Spirit by the works of repentance, the works of faith, and the works of love for holiness.
We do those works from our dignity as the Spirit-adopted sons and daughters of God in Christ.
Every Sunday, when we declare our faith together at Mass, we say that we “believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life.”
The Spirit is the Father’s living breath that comes into the world from the lungs of Christ’s risen body.
God is Love, and Love is already alive and breathing in the world because Christ in flesh and blood has risen from the dead.
We take a deep breath of it only when we CHOOSE and DO and LIVE and HAND OURSELVES OVER to what is OBJECTIVELY GOOD, to what is GODLY.
That’s what warmed and swelled the heart of St. Philip Neri.
Inspired by God’s goodwill, the Christian does good on earth to men for the glory of God in the highest.
Christ the Son our Lord has prayed for this [Jn. 17:23]:
Father... that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

That is Christ’s mission in his Eucharistic Body and Blood that are full of the Holy Spirit.
That is Christ’s mission in his Body the Church.
That is our mission, and its final fulfillment shall be our everlasting glory and joy with Christ at the right hand of the Father in the oneness of the Holy Spirit.

That God Be Glorified in All