ST BENEDICT, ABB. (Memorial) White
He was the twin brother of St Scholastica. While studying in Rome, he was dismayed by the lack of indiscipline of his fellow students; so he fled to a cave and lived there as a hermit for three years. Inspired by his life, a group of monks asked him to be their spiritual leader. He founded twelve monasteries and wrote the Rule of his order. The summation of the Benedictine Rule is “Pray and work” (Latin: Ora et Labora). Benedict had the gifts to read consciences and to prophesy and forestall the attacks of the Devil.
First Reading: Is 1:10-17; Psalm: 50 R. v. 23bc; Gospel: Mt 10:34-11:1
WHAT GOD WANTS FROM US
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
It feels very devastating to imagine God turn his back on us. If it can be frustrating for us to experience rejection at the hands of those we solely depend on, how much more God who is the decider of all we have and are. In the first reading, God stated explicitly through the prophet Isaiah that he does not condone iniquity; and that living in sin implies a rejection of his blessings and favours. God said that he would hide his eyes and will not listen to the prayers of those who dwell in iniquity. This is because their prayers and sacrifices are worthless before him.
God made it clear what he wants from us. He is not man who is appeased or bought over by gifts and money. These things are nothing before him for he made them all. What delights God is repentance: to do good, seek justice, correct oppression, and defend the weak. These are the things that appeals to God. And he listens to those who do them.
We may be very generous with gifts and money both to the Church and to people. We may even build a house for God. But all these would mean nothing to God if we do not turn away from doing evil. We cannot appease God with money or gifts as a cover up for the evil we commit. This is a waste of time. God is interested in the salvation of our souls. This is more important to him than anything else. And this is why he tells us clearly today that repentance is what he wants from us. St Benedict was a man who was against careless living. He lived a disciplined life and inspired many souls who became his followers. We can also win souls for Christ through righteous living. We can repent now. We don’t have all the time.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, we pray for the grace of true repentance. Amen.