Saturday, XIV Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Do not be afraid! Saint Benedict, pray for us!

Readings: 1st: Is 6:1-8; Ps: 92; Gos: Mt 10:24-33

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com

Today, the church honors one of the great fathers of monastic and religious life, Saint Benedict, Abbot.

Benedict was born in central Italy, and studied in Rome. As a young man, he was attracted to monastic life. However, he first became a hermit.

Later on, Benedict founded one of the most famous monasteries in the world, popularly known as Monte Cassino. There, he developed what is known today, as the Benedictine Rule.

Benedict left us a good legacy of strong liturgical devotion. Hence, his Rule emphasized a strong liturgical life of prayer, study and manual labor, charity, community life, and moderation in all things.

Today’s gospel continues to highlight the importance of preparation before embarking on any mission. Christ instructs his disciples on the right attitude they should adopt in carrying out their mission.

There is something remarkable about today’s gospel. Within these ten verses, for three times, Christ said, “Do not be afraid!” to his disciples and future missionaries. This, is equally the third blessed assurance this week.

This was not a mere coincidence. Being God, Christ knew the state of the mind of his disciple. He knew that their mission will be marked with persecutions and sufferings of all kinds.

By repeating these words, Christ was reminding them that this should not bother them, because their lives are hidden in God’s hands.

Each day, we are faced with different challenges in our various missions. At times, what really bothers us is not the, “now” of our life or mission. Rather, its “tomorrow.”

So, each time we look into the future, it seems so bleak and full of many mountains and valleys. These make us hesitate to move ahead.

Saint Benedict whom we honor today, saw them too. However, he overcame them by listening patiently, and silently to these inspiring words of Christ.

Are you and your mission about to be paralyzed by fear of the future? Christ, the Master and Lord of the mission is saying to you today: “DO NOT BE AFRAID!

Saint Benedict, pray for us!

Peace be with you all!

Maranatha!

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