Is 1: 1-10
Matthew 10: 34-11:1


Our readings today are particularly challenging especially in the context of the ‘wrong-doing’ that we see all around the world with the war in Ukraine, the displacement of people, as well as the corruption and exploitation which keeps so many in poverty. The prophet Isaiah all those centuries ago called for an end to oppression and evil. His call still holds good and as we watch the news on our TV screens, let’s listen for where we can do some small action to seek justice and advocate for the oppressed.

Our Gospel too challenges us to make choices. We are invited to be open and welcoming to those who approach us and to see them as the Lord himself.  Jesus leaves us in no doubt about what is expected of his disciples when he says: ‘Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me; and those who welcome me welcome the one who sent me.’

St Benedict, whose feast we celebrate today is known for his openness and hospitality to the stranger as well as his trust in God’s providence.  Joan Chittister reminds us that Benedict, by calling us to prayer throughout the day helps us to understand that all time is holy and that in every moment and every person we may encounter God.

I believe that anyone who follows the words of Jesus ‘if anyone gives so much as a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because s/he is a disciple’ will be aware of the presence of the divine in the ordinary. The invitation to ‘right relationship’ gives us a path towards justice and peace. This is the path Isaiah calls us to take-a challenging one reminding us again that discipleship is not for the faint-hearted. So, a question for our reflection might be how do I challenge the wrongdoing built into many of the systems to which I am connected by what I purchase, what I eat and how I travel?

Sister Brigid Murphy CP
Sisters of the Cross & Passion,