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.

March 03, 2010

For Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent

Jeremiah 18:18-20
Matthew 20:17-28

Today in his Gospel, the Lord Jesus was going up to Jerusalem for the last time.
On the way, he took his twelve apostles aside, as if to see to it no one else would hear.
To the twelve alone he foretold for the third and last time that in Jerusalem the chief priests and scribes would have the Gentiles kill him on a cross.
It seemed to be a secret he wanted his apostles alone to know.
Now the whole world knows.
He called the secret “the chalice.”
He also told the twelve that the third day of the chalice would see him raised from the dead.
So it happened, but not everyone in the world believes it.
Not everyone drinks the chalice.
No one likes to drink a chalice of suffering and death.
Perhaps most want to drink a chalice of some kind of resurrection— but likely not if it comes by suffering and death.
Even the twelve apostles changed the subject from death to being first in line for thrones in a kingdom.
So the Lord challenged them with another secret in his chalice: the secret of ruling, having authority, being great and first among men.
He is telling this secret directly to his apostles whom he has taken aside.
This is the chalice for all who have his apostolic anointing as bishops and priests.
The chalice of the Son of Man is “to give his life as a ransom for many.”
He has drawn men aside, and sent them in his own name as a ransom for others.
To repent in place of those who don’t.
Believe in place of those who don’t.
Want God in place of those who don’t.
Love God in place of those who don’t.
Pray in place of those who don’t.
Worship in place of those who don’t.
Sacrifice in place of those who don’t.
Serve in place of those who don’t.
Be holy in place of those who refuse.
Even be a slave, he says.
Die that others may live, even that they may “be raised on the third day.”
That is the chalice the Lord gives to bishops and priests as his apostles.
“My chalice you will indeed drink.”
Together with bishops and priests, all the Church, all the Body of Christ has his bidding to share in ransoming many others.
“Take this, all of you, and drink from it ... so that sins may be forgiven.”
We are members of his Body to be given up, and members of his Blood to be shed.
If his is the chalice we truly drink, if his is the life we truly live, then the first words he spoke in his Gospel today will come true beyond the measure of the world.
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem.”
“Jerusalem,” meaning “Vision-of-Peace,” shows the way to a heavenly vision at the side of the Lord Jesus, as he says, “for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem.”
“And he said to all, ‘If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’” [Lk. 9:23]

That God Be Glorified in All


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