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.

September 17, 2010

For Friday of the Twenty-Fourth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

1 Corinthians 15:12-20
Luke 8:1-3

The apostles and holy women in the Gospel today and at the end of the Gospel were the kernel of Christ’s Church.
Today’s Gospel says they went with him “from one town and village to another,” as he was “preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God.”
After he died and rose from the dead, he met with his apostles for forty days, speaking again of the Kingdom of God. [Acts 1:2-3]
At their last meeting before he ascended into heaven, they asked, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” [Acts 1:6]
He answered only that all time was in the hands of the Father alone, but while waiting on the Father they would have the power of the Holy Spirit to witness for Christ to the whole world. [Acts 1:7-8]
They were asking about the restoration of the Israelite kingdom.
However, throughout his Gospel, he preached the Kingdom that is more than all races and all lands.
As today’s Gospel says, he went about “preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God,” not the kingdom of Israel.
What is that good news?
Today’s first reading names its fulfillment: “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.”
In the timing of the heavenly Father, his Risen Son will return to raise and crown with royal anointing the flesh and souls of believers.
That will be immeasurably more than anything the apostles and holy women knew or received from him during their earthly lives.
The Kingdom of God will be the crowning of our flesh and souls.
Never again any need to be “cured of evil spirits and infirmities” as were the holy women.
Even death shall be no more.
Our wills shall cleave unfailingly to God in holiness, so that we never again yield to sin that is the original cause of death.
Our whole being shall be filled with joy in God, and filled with God in joy.
Today’s psalm said it: “Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.”
He calls us to follow him for a Kingdom that is the true greatness of our selves.
Short of taking the risk to believe this good news, it seems only too good to be true.
The Word of the Lord in the first reading owns that risk.
... if Christ has not been raised,
then empty ... is our preaching;
empty ... your faith.

... if Christ has not been raised,
your faith is vain;
you are still in your sins.

If for this life only we have hoped in Christ,
we are the most pitiable people of all.

This risky faith of ours dares us to live for the good news of the Kingdom of God in all the choices of our lives.
God the Holy Spirit is already our power to do so as witnesses of Christ to all the earth.
The Spirit will breathe for us again from the Body and Blood of Christ at this altar today.
It is up to us to obey or waste the power of God who alone can fulfill us.
Believe it or not!

That God Be Glorified in All