Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Benedict, Abb (11th July, 2018) on the Gospel and the Memorial
(Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time (II))
Ps 104:2-7. (R. v. 4);
Saint Benedict of Nursia (c. 480 – c. 547), twin brother of Saint Scholastica was born into a distinguished family in central Italy, and was drawn to the monastic life early in life. Some monks chose him as their leader, but were dissatisfied with his strictness. He built what became one of the most famous monasteries in the world—Monte Cassino. His rule for his monks is known as “Rule of Saint Benedict”. He is venerated in the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Anglican Communion and Old Catholic Churches. He is the patron saint of Europe and students, and the father of Western Monasticism.
Topic: Performing signs and wonders.
In today’s gospel, “Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness.” It is important to reflect on how this affects us today because many supposed ministers of God are indeed ministers of Satan, courtesy of power, fame, money, and so on. The prophecy of Jeremiah depicts aptly what is happening in the name of God in many ministries today, “Every one deceives his neighbour, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they commit iniquity and are too weary to repent” (Jer 9:5).
There is so much emphasis on these signs: casting out demons, speaking in tongues, and so on, cf. Mk 16:17-18. However, God called us for various ministries. Hence, we are variedly blessed, cf. 1Cor 12:4. And most regrettably, the core sign every Christian ought to possess is forgotten entirely today; “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35). How many talk sincerely about love today?
The Lord’s vineyard is not a moneymaking machine, cf. 1Pt 5:2. Saint Paul advised, “For the love of money is the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs” (1Tim 6:10). And we also read confidently, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, ‘I will never fail you nor forsake you’” (Heb 13:5).
Friends, if you have the power to cast out demon, cure every kind of diseases, and so on, please, confirm the source. Secondly, if it is from God, use it and never abuse it, cf. 1Cor 12:7. And finally, never forget that God has also blessed us with many medical experts. We celebrate Saint Benedict hated and rejected by some monks because of his insistence on doing what is right (God’s will).
Bible Reading: Jer 8:22–9:6; 1Cor 12:1-31.
Thought for today: ...there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit (1Cor 12:4).
Let us pray: Lord, help me always to see others as collaborators and not traitors – Amen.
Saint Benedict – Pray for us.
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