One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

+ + +

The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

January 13, 2010

For Wednesday of the First Ordinary Week of the Church Year

1 Samuel 3:1-19,19-20
Mark 1:29-39

In the first reading, God sought and called out to the boy Samuel in the Temple.
Then, in the Gospel, all the people and the apostles were seeking and calling out for the Lord Jesus.
Meanwhile, the Lord Jesus himself was seeking, calling, and finding God his Father in prayer.
The boy Samuel mistakenly thought Eli the priest was calling him.
Samuel did not know God was calling.
Eli worked that out, and told Samuel to answer: “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.”
In the original writing, it is actually, “Speak, YAHWEH, for your servant is listening.”
A “dance” of words is playing.
God said, “Samuel, Samuel!”
The name “Samuel” means “God HEARS.”
“Samuel, Samuel!”— “God HEARS, God HEARS!”
Samuel answered God, “Speak, for your servant is LISTENING.”
Then Samuel began to hear the God who hears.
God had Samuel speak for him, and all the villages of Israel “came to know that Samuel was an accredited prophet of the LORD” [YAHWEH].
All the villages— it was the same with the Lord Jesus in the Gospel.
“Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.”
After listening to his Father alone in prayer, the Lord Jesus, the Word of the Father, went to all the villages “throughout the whole of Galilee.”
The Gospel today singles out the village synagogues as the places where the Lord Jesus preached the Word of his Father “throughout the whole of Galilee.”
As of old, and still today, a synagogue is where God’s chosen people worship him by singing the Psalms, where they listen to the reading of his Word, and where they receive the lessons or commentaries of religious teachers.
The Galileans did not know the Word of God was personally in their midst, the Lord Jesus.
They did not know, as the Lord Jesus knew, that a dance of God’s Word was happening in their synagogues.
They sang the Psalms, God’s Word.
They heard the readings of God’s Word.
Now, unbeknownst to them, God’s Word was made flesh, and dwelt among them, he full of grace and truth, joining them in singing God’s Word in the Psalms and listening to readings of God’s Word.
A dance, but also a war that made all Galilee a battlefield, because “he went into their synagogues, preaching AND DRIVING OUT DEMONS THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE OF GALILEE”!
The demonic invasion began in the home God made for man in the Garden of Eden.
There the serpent led man and woman to doubt and disobey the word that YAHWEH had spoken to them.
A war against the Word of God!
The boy Samuel became a prophet, a warrior for the Word of God.
“Speak, YAHWEH, for your servant is listening.”
But now the Word of God became flesh, and dwelt among us.
In the house of God, the Lord Jesus, the Word of God in person, still joins us at prayer and in hearing the Word of his Father.
The Word is among us as we listen to him in his Gospel, and so is the Spirit.
The Word and Spirit pray with us to the Father, pray for us to the Father, receive our prayer on behalf of the Father, and answer our prayer with the Father.
Yet they are also here to do battle, driving out demons from the landscape of our lives, as the Lord Jesus once did in the synagogues “throughout the whole of Galilee.”
He offers us to eat a communion in his Body, and drink a covenant in his Blood.
The covenant of God also made men his warriors.
The spiritual warfare that we are about has struck a deadly blow to our souls, but also a deadly blow against the Lord Jesus.
He suffered, died, and was buried.
He rose as victor over sin and death.
He ascended as Man Glorified, ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From the Father, the Word of God breathes the Spirit of holy victory upon the remnant of the battle that goes on.
If we are to receive the victory that God has already won for us, then we must make it honestly true when we say to the Lord, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
Are we honestly listening, and do we honestly obey?

That God Be Glorified in All