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 06, 2010

For Saturday of the Second Week of Lent

Luke 15:1-3,11-32

After telling us the Pharisees and scribes complained that the Lord Jesus welcomed tax collectors and sinners, and ate with them, the Gospel says the Lord told three parables for all to hear.
The lectionary today leaves out the first and second parables, and gives only this one about a father and his sons.
The first two parables teach the meaning of this third one.
God is searching for those who belong to him but are lost in sin.
When they repent, and God finds them, he rejoices greatly.
Moreover, he invites others to share his great rejoicing at regaining his own who were lost.
However, today’s third parable adds at its end an appeal of tenderness, openness, and even respect for the Pharisees and scribes.
“My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours.”
Though we call it the parable of the prodigal son, it is really about the father who is prodigal to both his sons, opening lavishly to both of them all his goodness, wealth, and glory.
To his sinful and lately repentant younger son, he gives a fine robe, a ring, sandals, and a feast of freshest fattened veal.
By those signs he says, “My son, you are here with me AGAIN; everything I have is yours.”
He then actually voices much the same to his elder son, “My son, you are here with me ALWAYS; everything I have is yours.”
In this season of penitential preparations to celebrate the solemn festival of the Lord’s resurrection, many are preparing for a new beginning as sons and daughters of God in the Church through the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.
Others, who have been Catholic longer, are turning anew to God through the sacrament of Confession and Absolution.
In the Easter solemnity of the Lord’s resurrection, all, both the newest Catholics and the elder, will celebrate the goodness of the Father— My son, you are here with me; everything I have is yours.
In the celebration of the Risen Son’s Eucharistic Body and Blood, the heavenly Father runs forward to meet us and put on us the fine robe, ring, and sandals of filial dignity by the Holy Spirit.
However, the heavenly Father slaughters for us no mere calf, fattened or otherwise.
He feasts us with the Body, Blood, Soul, and Godhead of his own Son who is without beginning or end.
In a paradoxical way, the Lord Jesus is somewhat in the role of the elder brother, the elder son of the parable, to whom the heavenly Father speaks.
My son!
You are here with me always.
Everything I have is yours.
Now we must celebrate and rejoice.
Your brother was dead
and has come to life again.
He was lost
and has been found.

Both Father and Son, in one Holy Spirit, celebrate and rejoice when we, the younger children, turn back to the Father.
As we dare to eat and drink the Body and Blood of the Son of God today, let it be as our committed covenant to remain always with the Father in faithfulness and thanksgiving by the power of the Holy Spirit that invests us.

That God Be Glorified in All

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