Feast of St.Benedict


Genesis 32: 23-33
Matthew 9: 32-38


Our first reading from Genesis presents us with Jacob as he wrestles with God. In that process, Jacob is renamed Israel ‘because you have been strong against God.’ I am sure we have all wrestled with God at some time, if not frequently! In times of struggle and pain, in times of grief and loss, in times when we experience loneliness and fear, in times when we can’t make sense of the world around us. Being able to wrestle with God suggests to me that I am in a trusting relationship where I can be honest and real but like Jacob, I also need to be prepared to be somewhat dislocated. Jacob says: ‘I have seen God face to face and I have survived.’ A real encounter with God or with another can leave us changed in such a way that there is no going back. Many such examples are told in the Scriptures and in our own lives.

The muted man in the Gospel was brought to Jesus and we are not told by whom or for what reason but what we do know is that he was set free, he spoke and the people were amazed. He encountered God and was changed, empowered to speak! Jesus, could see that there were many more who needed healing, who needed to be set free, more than he could reach and so he extended the call to mission to all who would hear and respond and empowered them to minister as he did.

This includes you and me. We are called by name, called through our Baptism, to be bearers of the good news and to shine the Christ light in the places where we live and work, not by preaching but by being authentic disciples. Opportunities present themselves every day where we can empower someone to speak for themselves or we can be a voice for the voiceless. There is still a big harvest and the labourers are few so we pray to the Lord of the harvest to send labourers and let’s be prepared to be one of the labourers.  

St Benedict was one such labourer who gave his life generously, in humility and with great trust in the providence of God. He had a strong desire that the chanting of the psalms would bring hearts and voices into harmony. Let’s pray that the voices of Australians will come together in harmony as we approach the referendum. May it be a moment of hope, possibility for healing and open us to embrace the shadow side of our national history and so move towards greater peace and unity.

Sr. Brigid Murphy CP
Sisters of the Cross & Passion,