14th Week, Saturday, Jul 11+ St. Benedict

Isaiah 6:1-8 / Matthew 10:24-33 
Isaiah has a vision of God: “Holy, holy, holy!”

God’s call to Isaiah came about 20 years before the northern kingdom fell to Assyria. Thus, some of his prophecies are directed to the northern kingdom of Israel. Most, however, are directed to the southern kingdom. Isaiah sought to get the people of Judah to reform their ways before the same fate that befell Israel befell them. In all, Isaiah’s career arched like an umbrella over 40 stormy years of the history of God’s chosen people.
In keeping with today’s reading, Isaiah is often called the prophet of God’s holiness. No fewer than 30 times in his prophecies he refers to God as the “Holy One.” Again and again, he reminded the people that God had called them at Mt. Sinai to be a holy nation. (Exodus 19:6, NAB)
How conscious are we of our call to holiness? “The Lord Almighty is holy! His glory fills the world.” Isaiah 6:3
In these present times, we cannot deny that secularism is a powerful influence across all sectors of life. But this is often balanced off by a quiet search for the meaning of life and existence in the quest for spirituality.

It cannot be denied that modern men and women are searching for the transcendent and they want an experience of God. Even the Church has seen a renewed need for prayer and meditation as people search deeper for God. Indeed, we all have this longing and thirsting for God. And people do experience God in various situations and settings - at Mass, at prayer meetings, in retreats, at holy places.

In the 1st reading, the prophet Isaiah experienced the holiness of God in a vision. At the same time, he also became aware of his sinfulness and unworthiness, but he was healed of it. Yet, his experience of God also propelled him to a mission, and that was to proclaim the holiness of God to the people.

So an experience of God is not just for our sake but for the purpose of a mission. That is essentially to proclaim the presence of God to a secularized world. As Jesus said in the gospel, it is to declare and bear witness to Him in the presence of men. May we not be afraid to let the love of God shine in us.
Saturday July 11


St. Benedict’s time, between 480 and 550 A.D., was one of crisis much like ours, with the whole world of his era changing face. The Roman Empire was crumbling in the West, and whole peoples were migrating from continent to continent. Spiritual confusion was even greater. To the order of monks he founded, he gave a rule that is a model of balance and appealing to human capacities. Benedictine monasteries became for much of Europe centers of civilization and culture. Benedict is the patron saint of Europe and of Western monasticism.

Opening Prayer
All-wise and loving God,
St Benedict wisely told his monks
to combine work with prayer.
Never let us forget either of these two.
Let our prayer inspire what we do
to take up our task in life conscientiously
and to use our God-given talents
in the service of you and of people.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

– For the Church, that free from all paralyzing fears it may have the courage born of faith to bear witness to the demands of the gospel, we pray:
– For presiders in the liturgy, that they may have a deep sense of God’s holiness and of their own limitations and shortcomings, we pray:
– For all of us, that we may not fear those who threaten or ridicule us for our faith, as we live in trust of God who carries us in his hands, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Believable and trustworthy God,
your Son Jesus Christ committed himself
to the fight against evil and persecution,
yet he himself was its victim.
As he encounters us here
in these signs of bread and wine,
may he help us to understand better
that the disciple is not above the master,
that we cannot make your kingdom come true
without being torn apart
nor without being contested by the world.
We trust in you through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer after Communion
Our holy God,
we have shared the table of your Son;
we are willing to share his life and mission.
Make us unafraid, as he was fearless.
Help us to be convinced
in the deepest of ourselves
that our life and death are in your hands
and that our crosses bear within themselves
the seeds of joy and happiness.
Give us this faith and strength
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Do not be afraid of professing your faith or of living it. Trust in God, who stands behind you. May God strengthen and
bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.