Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint Benedict, Abb (11th July, 2016) on the Gospel and the Memorial


Is 1:10-17;
Ps 49:8-9.16-17.21.23. (R. v.23);
Matt 10:34–11:1.

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: ‘Not Peace, but a Sword’.

Today’s gospel is made up of two major sections – What Jesus brought (Matt 10:34-39) and His teaching on rewards (Matt 10:40-42). In the first section, Jesus addressed His disciples,

Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.

Often some interpret this passage as a declaration of war with everybody. Yet He also commanded us to “be at peace with one another” (Mk 9:50). Again, “...Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44; Lk 6:27). And again, “Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man” (Lk 6:22).

Saint Benedict we celebrate today was hated and rejected by some monks because of his insistence on doing what is right (God’s will). In the same way, whoever is following God must be ready for the world’s hatred and not he/she hating the world. We do not belong to the world, cf. Jn 15:18-19.

Bible Reading: Lk 6:27-36.

Thought for today: Friendship with the world is enmity with God (Jas 4:4).

Let us pray: Lord, give us the grace to stand firm doing your will regardless of the stand of the world – Amen.

Saint Benedict – Pray for us.

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