Jul 11 – Memorial for St. Benedict, abbot, religious founder
Born to Roman nobility, Benedict (c. 480–547) was the twin brother of St. Scholastica. He studied in Rome, Italy, but was dismayed at the lack of discipline and lackadasical attitude of his fellow students. He fled to the mountains near Subiaco, living as a hermit in a cave for three years. He was reported to have been fed by a raven.
The virtues that St. Benedict (480-547) demonstrated as a hermit prompted an abbey to request that he lead them. His discipline was such that an attempt was made on his life; some monks tried to poison him, but he blessed the cup and rendered it harmless. He destroyed pagan statues and altars, and drove demons from groves sacred to pagans.
At one point there were over 40,000 monasteries guided by the Benedictine Rule that he wrote, which can be summed up as “Pray and work”.
- Patron Saint Index
Jacob rose, and taking his two wives and his two slave-girls and his eleven children he crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream and sent all his possessions over too. And Jacob was left alone.
And there was one that wrestled with him until daybreak who, seeing that he could not master him, struck him in the socket of his hip, and Jacob’s hip was dislocated as he wrestled with him. He said, ‘Let me go, for day is breaking.’ But Jacob answered, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.’ He then asked, ‘What is your name?’ ‘Jacob’, he replied. He said, ‘Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have been strong against God, you shall prevail against men.’ Jacob then made this request, ‘I beg you, tell me your name’, but he replied, ‘Why do you ask my name?’ And he blessed him there.
Jacob named the place Peniel, ‘Because I have seen God face to face,’ he said ‘and I have survived.’ The sun rose as he left Peniel, limping because of his hip. That is the reason why to this day the Israelites do not eat the sciatic nerve which is in the socket of the hip; because he had struck Jacob in the socket of the hip on the sciatic nerve.
A man was brought to Jesus, a dumb demoniac. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb man spoke and the people were amazed. ‘Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel’ they said. But the Pharisees said, ‘It is through the prince of devils that he casts out devils.’
Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness.
And when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.’
And when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd.
Most people appreciate clear direction from leaders. A leader is different from a manager in that the leader allows the people under him to grow into better images of themselves. Jesus the Good Shepherd shows us the example of what it means to be a good Christian: one who goes out to the world to minister and reach out to everyone who is tired and weary.
We live in a world where people are tired from having to face the challenges of the world everyday. Indeed, all of us are called to be examples of faith for those who are weary and tired. Through our actions, words and directions, we allow the people around us to discover the love of God in action.
Christianity is a religion of action. When we choose to struggle against God, we will never be able to win the battle. Jacob in the first reading wrestled throughout the night with the other person and could not win him. God calls us to work with Him and not go against Him. Whenever we choose to go against His will, it usually brings about much unhappiness in our lives.
We are called to be dependent on God for everything in our lives. Let us take the moment now to ask the good Lord to bless our every actions and help us achieve the best in each one of us.
(Today’s Oxygen by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to listen to you and co-operate with your will
Thanksgiving: We give thanks to God for all who have taken the vow of obedience.