Today is the feast day of St Benedict, patron of Europe. Here is the gospel followed by the Bishops’ website commentary.
Gospel Matthew 19:27-29
Everyone who has followed me will be repaid a hundred times over.
Peter spoke to Jesus. ‘What about us?’ he said ‘We have left everything and followed you. What are we to have, then?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I tell you solemnly, when all is made new and the Son of Man sits on his throne of glory, you will yourselves sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or land for the sake of my name will be repaid a hundred times over, and also inherit eternal life. Many who are first will be last, and the last, first.’
The Gospel of the Lord.
Gospel Reflection Tuesday, St Benedict, Abbot, Patron of Europe, Matthew 19:27-29
Benedict was born of a distinguished family and was educated in Rome. He abandoned his studies and his inheritance and he devoted himself to the quest for God. This initially took the form of a period of solitude in a cave at Subiaco just to the east of Rome. His solitude was interrupted by those who were drawn to his way of life and wanted to gather around him. Much against his will, he organized these followers into a group of monasteries and he himself took leadership of one of those monasteries, Monte Casino, which is now considered the birthplace of the Benedictine order. There he wrote his Monastic Rule which set a standard for the future Western Monastic tradition. His rule was marked by moderation, balance and humanity. Community was a key feature of his monastic vision and he stressed the value of community life as a school for holiness. He saw the community as a place of equality where each person was helped by everyone else along the path of holiness. The monk’s primary occupation was liturgical prayer, complemented by the reading of the Scriptures and manual work of various kinds. He was made patron of Europe in 1964. In the words of the gospel reading, Benedict left everything as a young man. Yet, in leaving everything he gained that new family which the gospel reading refers to. Indeed he gained a family of families, a great multitude of monastic families or communities, linked together by his spirit and his rule. He is a living example of that image of the grain of wheat which when planted in the ground dies but in dying bears much fruit. Whenever we give generously, we invariably receive more than we give. Our giving, our dying, creates a space for the Lord to work in a life-giving way in us and through us.
The Gospel reflection comes from WEEKDAY REFLECTIONS: To know the love of Christ 2016/2017 by Martin Hogan published by The Messenger c/f www.messenger.ie