Benedict was born in Nursia and studied in Rome. Benedict organised various small communities of, drew up a set of rules to guide the communal life of monasteries, and, though not the first monastic rule ever, the Rule of St Benedict has proved so wise and balanced that it has served as the foundation of practically every attempt at communal living ever since.
There was a man of venerable life, Benedict, blessed by grace and by name, who, leaving home and patrimony and desiring to please God alone, sought out the habit of holy living.
O God, who made the Abbot Saint Benedict an outstanding master in the school of divine service, grant, we pray, that, putting nothing before love of you, we may hasten with a loving heart in the way of your commands. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Genesis 32:23-33
Jacob rose, and taking his two wives and his two slave-girls and his eleven children he crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream and sent all his possessions over too. And Jacob was left alone. And there was one that wrestled with him until daybreak who, seeing that he could not master him, struck him in the socket of his hip, and Jacob’s hip was dislocated as he wrestled with him. He said, “Let me go, for day is breaking.” But Jacob answered, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” He then asked, “What is your name?” “Jacob”, he replied. He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have been strong against God, you shall prevail against men.” Jacob then made this request, “I beg you, tell me your name”, but he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” And he blessed him there. Jacob named the place Peniel, “Because I have seen God face to face,” he said “and I have survived.” The sun rose as he left Peniel, limping because of his hip. That is the reason why to this day the Israelites do not eat the sciatic nerve which is in the socket of the hip; because he had struck Jacob in the socket of the hip on the sciatic nerve.
R/ Lord, in my justice I shall see your face.
Lord, hear a cause that is just, pay heed to my cry. Turn your ear to my prayer: no deceit is on my lips.
From you may my judgement come forth. Your eyes discern the truth. You search my heart, you visit me by night. You test me and you find in me no wrong.
I am here and I call, you will hear me, O God. Turn your ear to me; hear my words. Display your great love, you whose right hand saves your friends from those who rebel against them.
Guard me as the apple of your eye. Hide me in the shadow of your wings. In my justice I shall see your face and be filled, when I awake, with the sight of your glory.
Gospel Acclamation: cf.Ep1:17,18
Alleluia, alleluia! May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our mind, so that we can see what hope his call holds for us. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 9:32-37
A man was brought to Jesus, a dumb demoniac. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb man spoke and the people were amazed. “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel” they said. But the Pharisees said, “It is through the prince of devils that he casts out devils.” Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness. And when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.”
Prayer over the Offerings
Look kindly, Lord, upon these holy offerings, which we make in honour of Saint Benedict, and grant that, by following his example in seeking you, we may merit the gifts of unity in your service and of peace. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Lk 12: 42
This is the steward, faithful and prudent, whom the Lord set over his household to give them their allowance of food at the proper time.
Prayer after Communion
Having received this pledge of eternal life, we humbly beseech you, O Lord, that, attentive to the teaching of Saint Benedict, we may faithfully serve your designs and love one another with fervent charity. Through Christ our Lord.
Jesus expels demons from a deaf and dumb man today. As is often the case, the crowds are in awe while the Pharisees see Jesus as a servant of Beelzebul. Chapter 9 of Matthew ends with the exhortation to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into his harvest, for as Jesus went through towns and villages, proclaiming the Gospel and healing the sick, he left crowds orphaned and helpless like sheep without shepherds. That is why chapter 10 opens with the call of the twelve. The harvest is abundant but the workers are few. Let us pray for more religious vocations. Let us also pray for our priests, deacons, religious and laity who are already devoting themselves to the service of the Gospel.