Memorial of Saint Benedict, abbot
(Hosea 10:1-3.7-8.12; Matthew 10:7-15)
St. Benedict left such a wonderful legacy that he was named patron of Europe. Our present pope chose Benedict as his particular patron because Benedict’s followers were largely responsible for the civilization of the continent. Still today Benedictine monks and their various offshoots contribute significantly to Church affairs and secular knowledge. Although Benedict was rather original in his expression, he but echoed the radical concern for people of Jesus Christ.
In today’s gospel Jesus sends his inner circle of disciples to preach the Kingdom of God. They are to go among “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” These are people who have lost the sense of God’s care for them. The disciples are to proclaim the “Kingdom of heaven is at hand,” which is to say that God is not a distant landlord but a benevolent ruler who looks after their needs.
Today many people are disillusioned with religion because of the violence perpetrated in its name. They prefer to give allegiance to the wonders of technology. It is difficult to find this latter affiliation leading to a more human civilization. The world needs new Benedicts to show how true peace is a product of charity. It looks for a creative genius who will form communities of self-sacrifice that will inspire a truly uplifting civilization.