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 22, 2010

For Wednesday of the Twenty-Fifth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Luke 9:1-6

This is the first time in this Gospel that the Lord Jesus sends out his Twelve Apostles.
It is a beginning.
The Apostles have heard him preach the good news of the Kingdom of God, as well as the demands of that Kingdom.
Now he sends them to preach the same.
They have seen him heal the sick and cast out demons even by legion on one occasion.
Now he his Apostles “them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases.”
In this much— preaching God’s Kingdom, driving out demons and diseases, healing the sick— in this much the Apostles are already extensions of the Lord’s own apostolate.
They have seen him do other things that he does not empower or tell them to do— such as command obedience from the wind and the sea, and even raise the dead.
One thing the Apostles have seen him do already is forgive sins.
Not now, but later he will give them the Holy Spirit of power and authority to forgive sins: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven....” [Jn. 20:22-23]
He didn’t bother ever to say anything about giving them his own spectacular power and authority to command wind and sea or to raise the dead.
Such spectacular miracles are as nothing, but what he wanted them to continue in his name was to forgive sins.
In this particular holy Gospel according to Luke, forty days after he rose from the dead, and just before he ascended into heaven, the last thing he said to them was about the power of the Father’s Holy Spirit and the forgiveness of sins.
Thus it is written,
that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,
and that REPENTANCE AND FORGIVENESS OF SINS should be preached in his name to all nations,
beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.
And behold, I send THE PROMISE OF MY FATHER upon you;
but stay in the city,
until you are clothed with POWER FROM ON HIGH. [Lk. 24:46-49]

Preaching repentance in his name and having heavenly power to forgive sins in his name— invoking repentance and forgiving sins in the name of Christ is how the Church of the Apostles is to tell and open the Kingdom of God for men and women.
The BEGINNING of the apostolic mission served God’s Kingdom by driving off demons and healing the sick, as we see in today’s Gospel
However, the FULFILLMENT of God’s Kingdom in the lives of men and women hangs on their own repentance, for Christ tells his Apostles in his Gospel today: “as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.”
Let us open up to repentance, lest the Kingdom of God leave us in the dust.
Only by repentance can we honestly eat and drink the Body and Blood of Christ the King in “the new and everlasting covenant ... so that sins may be forgiven.”

That God Be Glorified in All