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.

July 03, 2009

For the Feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle, July 3

Ephesians 2:19-22
John 20:24-29

Feast of St. Thomas Apostle
This Holy Gospel according to John starts off [Jn. 1:1] by getting right to the point about Jesus.
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,

However, after that, no one in this Gospel says outright that Jesus is God until St. Thomas calls him, “My Lord and my GOD!”
Thomas had spurned the word of his fellow apostles that they had seen Jesus risen from the dead.
Yet, none of them and no one else had gone so far as Thomas finally did: “My Lord and my GOD!”
What the risen Lord God said to Thomas was also for the other apostles and for us.
Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.

The apostles saw, and they believed.
You and I have not seen, but we believe because we have received the word of the apostles.
We have taken their word about the Word who was in the beginning, and was with God, and was God.
Having taken their word, you and I have the apostles as our foundation.
Standing upon them, you and I become the Church.
The Word of the Lord in today’s first reading calls us “the household of God,” “a temple sacred in the Lord,” and “a dwelling place of God in the Spirit,” “with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.”
Whether apostles believing from seeing the Lord, or disciples believing from taking the apostles’ word, all of us must now give our word that Jesus is “My Lord and my God!”
The Eucharistic hymn, Adoro te devote, shows us the way of faith, hope, and love when it comes to meeting the risen Lord in his Body and Blood.
Sight, touch, and taste are mistaken about you.
Only hearing can be safely believed.
I believe whatsoever the Son of God has said.
Nothing is more true than Him Who Is the Word of Truth.

I do not set my eyes upon your wounds as did Thomas.
Nevertheless I say you are my God.
Always make me more and more
to believe in you,
to have hope in you,
to love you.

For the fulfillment of our joy, and out of love for the Word who is God from the beginning, it is our mission, together with St. Thomas and all the apostles, to proclaim Jesus “My Lord and my God!”
That which was from the beginning,
which we have heard,
which we have LOOKED upon and TOUCHED WITH OUR HANDS,
concerning the word of life—
the life was made manifest,
and we saw it,
and testify to it,
and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—
that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you,
so that you may have communion with us;
and our communion is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
And we are writing this that our JOY may be complete. [1 Jn. 1:1-4]

That God Be Glorified in All

June 30, 2009

For Tuesday of the Thirteenth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Genesis 19:15-29
Matthew 8:23-27

In both readings today, the Word of the Lord tells of deadly doom.
In the first, two angels in the shape of men brought down from God a fiery hail of burning sulfur that overthrew and destroyed the towns and townsfolk of Sodom and Gomorrah for their great evil.
In the Gospel, a man scolds the wild wind and the besetting sea, soothing their awful might and saving his fearful followers from death.
His followers had called out to him in their woe, “Lord, save us!”
“Save us”— in their mother tongue: hoshi‘a-nna, hosha‘na, for short— “hosanna,” as we say it.
The syllable hosh points to “salvation” in Hebrew.
It’s part of the name Yehoshua that means “The Lord saves.”
Yehoshua is indeed the Hebrew name “Jesus.”
After he saved them from deadly shipwreck in a storm, they asked, “What sort of man is this whom even the winds and the sea obey?”
They had already answered their own question.
“LORD, save us!”
“The Lord saves”— the meaning of Yehoshua, the name of “Jesus” in their mother tongue!
They called on his name, thus naming what “sort of man” he is.
However, after he saved them, they wondered what to name the “sort of man” he is.
Between the fearful cries and the amazed questioning of his followers, he rebuked the winds and the seas, but he rebuked his followers also.
“Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?”
Fear or faith— perhaps much that happens inside us throughout life bounces between fear and faith.
The Lord clearly wants our faith to be great, rather than little.
“Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?”
In the Eucharistic Body and Blood of Christ, the Lord and Savior in his open and intimate depths is with us, calling us to faith.
The Word of the Lord here today, in both the Old and the Gospel, tells of his mighty justice on the one hand and his saving might on the other.
If we deny the one, we cheapen the other, and overthrow the Lord down into our own comfort zones, thereby making a false idol in the image and likeness of our own preferences.
Even though he hands himself over to us in his Eucharistic Body and Blood, let us not take his majesty for granted, but worship and love and believe him for both his open, intimate depths and his surpassing, transcendent mysteries.
The Psalms are the voice of great faith in the Lord who saves.
Come and see what God has done:
he is terrible in his deeds among men.
He turned the sea into dry land;
men passed through the river on foot.
.... we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us forth to a spacious place.
I will come into your house with burnt offerings;
I will pay your my vows,
that which my lips uttered
and my mouth promised when I was in trouble. [From Psalm 65]

Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up;
God is our salvation.
Our God is a God of salvation; and to God,
the Lord, belongs escape from death. [From Psalm 67]

From the heavens you did utter judgment;
the earth feared and was still,
when God arose to establish judgment
to save all the oppressed of the earth.
.... Make your vows to the Lord your God,
and perform them [From Psalm 75]

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

That God Be Glorified in All

June 28, 2009

For the Thirteenth Ordinary Sunday of the Church Year

Mark 5:21-43

[Preached for Children Receiving Their First Holy Communion]

There is more than one story in the Gospel today.
These stories today are about the power of believing in Jesus or the power of faith in Jesus— Jesus Christ.
In one of the stories, there was a woman who had been sick for twelve years.
She believed in Jesus.
She had faith in Christ.
She believed that if she could touch his clothes she would stop being sick.
So she came up behind Jesus and touched the back of his clothes in secret, and right away she was not sick anymore.
Christ knew that power had gone out from his own body because the woman had the power of faith.
She believed in Jesus.
If we believe in Jesus Christ, then we already have the power of faith.
The power of our faith works together with the power of Christ.
That’s why Jesus told the woman that her own faith had made her healthy again.
The power of Jesus Christ works together with the power of our faith.
There’s another story in the Gospel today, and this other story is also about the power of believing or faith.
A twelve-year old girl got very sick, and she died.
Her father believed in Jesus Christ, so her father had the power of faith.
Christ told her father to use the power of faith.
The “faith power” of the girl’s father worked together with the power of Christ’s body so that when Christ touched the dead girl, and told her to get up, she came back to life.
Christ did it because the girl’s father had the power of faith.
So these two stories in the Gospel today are about the power of faith that we have because we believe in Jesus Christ.
These two stories are also about the power that comes out of the Body of Christ.
The power of the Body and Blood of Christ always works together with the power of our own faith.
In Communion, in the Body of Christ and the Blood of Christ, Christ touches us with his power.
Even though we don’t see him, we believe in him, we have faith in him,
That is how we touch his power.
The power that is in the Body and Blood of Christ works together with our faith-power.
It helps us to love God and to do what he wants.
It helps us to do good for other persons around us.
It helps us to find happiness.
Because our own faith-power works together with the power of Christ, one day he will come back to us here on earth.
When Christ comes back, even if we are already dead, he will wake us up and bring us back to life.
With his power and our own faith-power, he will change us so that we shall never be sick, and nothing shall ever hurt us, and we shall never die, and we shall be happy forever together with God and all the saints.
In the Body of Christ and the Blood of Christ, we receive Christ and his power.
We need to promise him that we believe in him, and that we want to work with him.
Then, we need to keep our promise, so that the power of Christ helps us.
Let’s promise him right now that we believe in him.

“We believe in one God....”

That God Be Glorified in All