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.

November 18, 2009

For Wednesday of the Thirty-Third Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Luke 19:11-28

A parable is an image and likeness.
The Gospel today says Jesus told this as a parable about the coming of the Kingdom of God.
It begins with a man returning to his land as king.
He had trusted his servants to trade on his investments.
He gave bigger rewards to those who brought bigger profits.
He took his investments away from those who did nothing with them. [This all makes him sound like Donald Trump.]
He wanted to collect interest from his bank deposits.
Finally, he put to death those who rejected him as king. [That's a lot worse than, "You're fired!"]
It is not a pleasant or pretty image and likeness of God and his Kingdom.
If we reject this as an image and likeness of our king and God, then we stumble right into the story, right where Jesus says, “Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before me.”
Yes, “The Gospel of the Lord” is very ugly today, but at the end of it we all called out, “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.”
So let’s invest our money where our mouth is.
Each of us holds investments that belong to God.
He invested us with our own selves, our lives, our bodies, and our abilities to have feelings, to think, and to make choices.
We need to train and cultivate these investments for the glory of God who made us, because in the end he will ask for them.
He wants us to give everything back to him after we make a profit with it.
Through our sins, we cover up, contradict, distort, or reject this truth about God and ourselves.
In the beginning and in the end, making profit that gives glory to God is what opens us to our own real, greatest and everlasting joy.
In the end, and forever, our fulfillment and happiness will be no less than God and the honor of God.
So, there is another investment God gave each of us.
He has invested and continues to invest HIMSELF in each of us.
He chooses to give himself TO us, IN us and THROUGH us.
The silver lining of the Gospel’s ugly picture today is that God gives himself away in total freedom and goodness.
His freedom and goodness is the parable, image and likeness in which he made us.
We are made in the parable, the image and likeness of the self-giveaway of freedom and goodness.
If we choose rather to be takers all the time, we have no time for goodness or freedom.
If all we do is take, we shall only become emptier.
We come into real goodness and freedom by giving ourselves away to God.
Freedom and goodness are the work and investment of God in us.
It needs the willing work of our bodies, feelings, thoughts and free choices.
If our human efforts did not count for profit in God’s eyes, then the HUMAN suffering of Christ is just another ugly Gospel story.
Rather, the truth is that the HUMAN suffering of God in Christ invests all human effort and human suffering with the freedom and goodness of God.
In the resurrection of Christ STILL HUMAN, God has again invested himself in our humanity and glorified our humanity.
In the Eucharistic Body and Blood of Christ, God commits and invests himself in our flesh and blood, our lives, our feelings, our thoughts, and our freedom.
As he commits his Eucharistic investment to us, he expects profit from us.
If we make a profit, he will not take it away, because he does not need it.
In his ugly Gospel today he reckons his accounts with his servants only to increase any profitable rewards they may have already begun to bring forth.
Their overflowing and everlasting resurrection in joy and glory is the untold reward he has in mind for his good and faithful servants.
They shall come into their own as images and likenesses of God when Christ the King returns at the end of time.

That God Be Glorified in All