- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

Homily: July 17, 2015

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO  [1]

15th Friday in Ordinary Time
Exodus 11:10-12:14; Matthew 12:1-8

God makes all things new through the Paschal victory of Jesus Christ. He demonstrates His intention in the lives of all those whom he delivers from the bondage of Satan.  God manifests His justice by calling sin for what it is. He manifests His mercy by allowing the sinner to repent. All those who allow God to set them free from their bondage to sin, He makes heirs of the heavenly kingdom, the New Jerusalem. By His mercy, God brings each of us to newness of life in Christ. This recreation is not something we have earned or deserved. It is total gift that has been lavished upon us as a consequence of God’s abundant mercy and compassion. The Lord Jesus offers Himself to the Father as the sacrifice of mercy. In humility we confess our sins and in faith we partake of Christ’s body that was broken for us and drink of His blood that was poured out for us. In Him we live and move and have our being. Knowing the depth of His love, we gather for the banquet of the Lamb, rejoicing in His love and grateful for all that He has done for us.

God, in His abundant mercy, has prepared the Banquet of Life for us. On His table are set the choicest food and the finest drink. At each place is a name card, designating each invited guest. It is important to realize that the Father of the household notices each of the vacancies. Our loving Father has not only prepared a snack, but a royal feast. There is plenty for everyone and enough to spare so that no one need begrudge him/herself. The Master of the house offers us the broken bread, “Take and eat!” The Lord of the harvest offers us the precious chalice, “Take and drink!” The celebration of life is ready, “Come home!” Yet through it all, there are still empty places. I pondered this Eucharistic invitation, I remembered something my parents used to say: “Home is a place where when you’re not there you are missed.”

God demonstrates His infinite mercy by setting the banquet of life before us. He allows the aroma of salvation to waft over the world and waits for our hungry response. Let us allow God to feed us and embrace us with His merciful love. Having come to know the depths of God’s love, let us show mercy to those who struggle with their relationship with God and with the Body of Christ and thereby offer the Father a sacrifice of praise.