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 28, 2009

For Tuesday of the Seventeenth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Matthew 13:36-43

“Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
Perhaps today’s version of the Lord’s saying would be, “Read my lips!”
Today in the Gospel, the disciples asked the Lord to explain the parable we heard him tell in last Saturday’s Gospel.
So, then, what we hear in the Gospel today is not a parable, but an unfolding of the truth.
It is wild truth, the kind we might expect from a Bible-thumping street preacher, the kind that makes us roll our eyes, or makes us laugh— laugh either in mockery or out of nervousness about a thing we wish were not true.
“Whoever has ears ought to hear,” or, “Read my lips!”
The Lord Jesus, the Son of Man truthfully says that at the end of the age he himself will send his angels to take up and throw “into the fiery furnace” “all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.”
A wild truth— wild, but still the truth!
“Whoever has ears ought to hear,” or, “Read my lips!”
It is the truth about the end of time.
It calls us to keep going with an upright, faithful will, and to forbear evildoing that the angels will not uproot until the end of time.
The Lord says his angels will throw “into the fiery furnace” not only “all evildoers,” but also “all who cause others to sin.”
“Whoever has ears ought to hear,” or, “Read my lips!”
How might we cause others to sin?
We can do so by proposing what is sinful as if it were not or as if it were good.
We can cause others to sin by saying nothing, thus allowing sin by our silence.
We must not only speak out against sin.
We must also speak out for what is good— prudent, just, temperate, courageous, virtuous.
As the Lord unfolds it today in his Gospel, we are to live as “children of the kingdom,” whom he also calls “the righteous” who “will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father.”
To “shine like the sun”— is that a wild, parabolic metaphor, or is it truth?
It is a Gospel truth that the Son of the Father, the Son of Man, in spirit and body did “shine like the sun” in the company of Moses, Elijah, Peter, James, and John.
Isn’t that wild?
It is the truth.
“Whoever has ears ought to hear,” or, “Read my lips!”
We in Christ, if we choose and stay faithful to him, shall “shine like the sun”— body and spirit, all our knowing, all our freedom— wild with joy.
We own it Sunday after Sunday, here before the altar, when we stand to own what we believe: “We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.”

That God Be Glorified in All