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“Behold what you are”

30 June 2011

The Brothers of the Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE) have started a daily email devotional called Brother, Give Us a Word, which I will highly commend to you.

For those of you who do not know, SSJE (also known as the “Cowley Fathers”) are a contemplative order of monks that started in England and has its American home in Cambridge, MA, on the banks of the Charles River in the Harvard Square area. I have found myself drawn to them for many years now, and have gotten to meet many of the brothers during my in Boston, including the Rt. Rev’d M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE, the Bishop of Massachusetts.

The edition on 26 June by Br. Geoffrey Tristram, the order’s superior, really struck me. I include it here:

That pattern of dying and rising again, which we first experienced when we entered the deep waters of death at baptism, is to be our daily pattern.  Every day a new beginning, a new invitation to become the body of Christ, to become who we most truly are: that our humble bodies may be changed into his glorious body.  In the Eucharist we make that desire to be daily conformed to Christ explicit.  The priest holds up the sacramental body of Christ and says, “Behold what you are.”  And we reply, “May we become what we receive.”

The sermon from which this excerpt came can be found here.

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