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.

April 28, 2010

For Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Acts 12:24-13:5a
John 12:44-50

Today in the Gospel it is late in the day on Palm Sunday.
Earlier that day, the crowd shouted “Hosanna!” as Christ entered Jerusalem.
Afterwards, as he spoke to the crowd, he suddenly said, “Father, glorify thy name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” [Jn.12:28]
Only a few other times does the Gospel say the voice of God the Father rang out on earth.
Today’s first reading tells us a thing more rare, words the Holy Spirit has spoken: “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
The words of the Spirit and the voice of the Father have rung out upon the earth.
Today in the Gospel, the Lord Jesus also speaks out loud.
In fact the original language of the Gospel says the Lord Jesus SHOUTED today.
The Gospel used the same word to say crowds SHOUTED “Hosanna!” earlier in the day and “Crucify him!” later in the week.
In today’s Gospel Christ is shouting back to the Palm Sunday crowd:
that he is the one who speaks and acts for God and as God;
that to reject him, the Christ, is to reject the Father who sent him;
that to reject Christ is to resist the command of the Father and to stand condemned.

By the standards of some in our culture today, his message is arrogant, non-inclusive, unacceptable, and made worse by shouting.
It is the message he shouts in his Gospel— and he shouts more than once throughout his Gospel.
If we want the joy and fulfillment of eternal life, we must turn to God.
If we want to find God, we must look to Christ, to see and find in Christ what God wants for us.
Over and over in both his Gospel and his Eucharist we meet, hear, touch, and consume the Son of God.
By his Eucharist he shouts his sacrifice for the communion of The New and Everlasting Covenant, My Body GIVEN UP for You, My Blood SHED for You.
His real presence in his Eucharist also shouts his flesh-and-blood resurrection in this world.
Today in his Gospel he shouts that he “came into the world as light.”
In his Eucharist he comes into the world as light shouting in ACTION— straight, swift, on the spot.
His body he gives up, his blood he sheds— his Eucharist is a shout and a light.
The shouting light of availability, intimacy, self-surrender for our taking and swallowing!
The shouting light of new and everlasting commitment and forgiveness!
The light shouting, “Do this in memory of me!”
“Do this”— there is WORK to be done.
In the first reading today, we heard the Holy Spirit call for men to be set apart “for the WORK to which I have called them.”
“Do this in memory of me”— of HIM who shouts in his Gospel today:
Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words
has something to judge him: the word that I spoke,
it will condemn him on the last day,
because I did not speak on my own,
but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak.
And I know that his commandment is eternal life.

Eternal life— thus his politically incorrect shouting opens the possibility of our receiving his gift of everlasting joy, goodness, beauty, and fulfillment in God.
In answer, the last words of the Bible [Rev. 22:20-21] are the shouts of believers.
Come, Lord Jesus!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints!

That God Be Glorified in All


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