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 29, 2011

For Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent

Matthew 18:21-35

Although his apostle asked him today how often to forgive a brother, the Lord Jesus answered with a parable likening the Kingdom of heaven to a king settling accounts with his servants.
The Lord did not start the parable by telling of a debt between equals— whether they were fellow servants or brothers.
Rather, the Lord began with a debt a man owed to his king.
The original language of the Gospel gives the size of the debt an actual number equal to the salary for one hundred and fifty thousand years of work.
A debt that might as well be EVERLASTING!
God our King brought us as EVERLASTING souls into being out of nothing but his own goodness.
He forever upholds us in being out of sheer mercy and goodness.
For us merely to live is to be in debt forever to God.
For us to be alive fully is to be mindfully and joyfully grateful to him.
We can never pay back to God the debt we owe for our everlasting souls, but we can choose to live for him lives of upright thankfulness.
Having said all this, I now wonder at how our debt both rebels against itself and multiplies itself blasphemously through any one of our knowing and willful sins.
Mercy indeed holds us in being forever.
How unimaginable and how unbelievable it is that God himself in Christ handed himself over to torture and the death penalty for all our debts against himself.
At the point of fulfilling the SUM— ConSUMmatum est— Christ said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
He paid our debt to his Father.
Yet— unbelievably and unimaginably— he also hands over the payment to us.
Take... eat... my body... given up for you.
Take... drink... my blood... shed for you... so that sins may be forgiven.
Do this in memory of me.

By agreeing and daring to take, eat, and drink the payment, memory commits us to give it to the Father to whom it belongs.
We are to give it to him from within our own bodies and blood in the lives we choose to live and in the mercy we bestow on our brothers as a small but nonetheless entirely required imitation of God’s everlasting mercy to us in Christ.
Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor are yours, almighty Father for ever and ever.

That God Be Glorified in All


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