Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Benedict, Abb (11th July, 2019) on the Gospel and the Memorial
(Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time (I))
Gen 44:18-21.23-29; 45:1-5;
Ps 104:16-21. (R. v. 5);
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: Preaching the gospel.
Preaching the gospel in the words of Saint Paul is preaching the crucified Christ, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, cf. 1Cor 1:23. Preachers of the true gospel preach Jesus Christ as Lord, and themselves as mere servants for Jesus’ sake, cf. 2Cor 4:5.
The work of preaching is God’s. He does not approve of any addition or subtraction, cf. Prov 30:6. Saint Paul rightly prophesied, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings” (2Tim 4:3). However, mutilating the gospel for whatever reason does nobody good; the preacher places curse on him/herself (cf. Gal 1:8) and also deprived the people of the means of salvation, cf. 1Cor 1:21.
Although God preaches through human instruments, it is solely in God’s hand what will come out of it, cf. 1Cor 3:6. If a preacher is rejected, it is He who does His work through him/her that is rejected, cf. Lk 10:16. And Jesus warned in today’s gospel, “Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgement than for that town” (Matt 10:15).
Dearest fellow servants, let us stick to preaching Christ and leave the rest for the Lord of the harvest. Doing anything contrary as we have seen is very dangerous for both the preachers and the hearers. Saint Benedict we celebrate stuck to it. Although some monks rejected him but he is today in the endless joys of heaven. And finally most cherished people of God, thirst for the true gospel of Christ and nothing else for that alone is the message (word) of life, cf. Jn 6:68; Phil 2:16; 1Jn 1:1.
Bible Reading: 2Tim 4:1-8.
Thought for today: Preaching is solely God’s.
Let us pray: Lord, grant us the grace to stick to the gospel no matter how stupid it might appear to be – Amen.
Saint Benedict – Pray for us.
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