One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

+ + +

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

February 15, 2015

For the Sixth Ordinary Sunday of the Church Year

Leviticus 13:1-2,44-46
1 Corinthians 10:31 to 11:1
Mark 1:40-45

A life-and-death Gospel reading!
Leprosy threatened life in two ways:  first, Biblical lepers had to live in quarantine outside the camp of the living; second, true leprosy kills.
Christ told a leper, Be made clean, saving him in the twinkling of an eye.
Then, warning him sternly, Christ gave the newly healthy man three commands.
First:  to tell no one anything.
Second:  to show a priest that he was free of leprosy— because priests were the officials who lifted quarantines.
Third:  to take to the priest the sacrifices that Moses said God required from those cleansed of leprosy.
Christ worked a wonder for a leper today, and would do other wonders for other persons, but he did not want tales of his wondrous might to spread.
That is a buried clue that Christ would not fulfill his earthly mission by working wonders.
Rather, he would go on to say and say again that he must suffer many things, be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed.
The reason is in another buried clue in today’s Gospel.
Christ told the man to offer up what Moses said God required from those cleansed of leprosy.
Someone recovered from leprosy was to offer sacrifices of two kinds.
One was thankful worship, and the other was atonement for sins.
Those two kinds of sacrifice are the same that Christ offered in his own death, resurrection, and ascension to the throne of God:  worship and atonement.
There is a third buried clue in Christ’s commands to the man cleansed of leprosy.
When a man newly free of leprosy sacrificed an animal in atonement for his sins, the priest would mark the man’s body with blood from the animal, thus sealing together atonement for sin and health for the body.
The sacrifices of someone recovered from leprosy point to the sacrificial death and Eucharist of Christ.
Sin brings about the leprosy of souls.
To receive the forgiveness of sins, we must turn to the priestly ministry of Christ in his Church, and let the Body and Blood of Christ touch our bodies and our souls.
Christ gave up his Body and poured out his Blood for the forgiveness of sins, as he told us at his Last Supper.
We let his Body and Blood touch our souls only when our repentance is a sincere commitment to obey God.
We are to repent of all sins— sins against God and his commands, sins against our parents, sins against life, sins against marriage, sins against truth, sins against neighbors, and even sins that hide inside us, such as coveting or greed.
Perhaps the sins that hide within us are the most harmful kind.
They rot us from within.
Sooner or later, they push us to sin against GOD MOST HIGH and against NEIGHBOR— that is, against the GREATEST, the LEAST and any between.
In the teaching of Christ, our sins against the LEAST are the same as sins against GOD.
He said whatever we do or fail to do to the LEAST of his brethren we do or fail to do to him who is LORD.  [Mt. 25:40]
The least of his brethren:  the smallest, weakest, and youngest of them are children in the womb.
If the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness does not belong to the smallest, weakest, and youngest from the first moment of life, then all rights at any stage of life— and all sense of right and wrong— shake and crumble on the shifting sands of each day’s prevailing opinion.
Abortion is a deadly leprosy that men and women perpetrate within INDIVIDUAL bodies, but the defense of abortion rots our WHOLE BODY POLITIC from the White House to houses on any street.
Abortion is NOT the ONLY sin in the world.
However, abortion IS the sin that the MIGHTIEST in the laws of our land uphold tyrannically as a RIGHT against the smallest, weakest and youngest.
God the Son said:  as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.  [Mt. 25:40]
Abortion as a legal right is a leprosy that quarantines our nation OUTSIDE the Kingdom of Heaven.
However, ANY grave sin of ANY individual quarantines that soul outside the Kingdom of Heaven.
Some grave sins threaten EARTHLY lives, but all grave sins threaten ETERNAL lives.
What can we do about it?
Mark well that leprosy threatened a man’s life in today’s Gospel, and Christ saved him, but then commanded him to offer up WORSHIP and ATONEMENT.
That’s a description of the Mass, which we are celebrating at this moment in this place.
Sin threatens our eternal lives, but Christ is here to save us in WORSHIP and ATONEMENT.
We join him here in offering to his Father the Great High Sacrifice of WORSHIP AND ATONEMENT— the Body and Blood of Christ— just as he commands:  Do this in memory of me.
In what he calls this new and eternal COVENANT... for the forgiveness of sins, God binds himself to us, BUT— since he calls it a COVENANT— he expects us to bind ourselves to him.
If we hold fast to this covenant we shall rise, body and soul, to invincible life, liberty, and happiness in the glory of God.
Take to heart and keep in mind:  we celebrate the Mass as a matter of life and death.

That God Be Glorified in All


Post a Comment

<< Home