Memorial of St. Benedict, Abbot
St. Benedict of Nursia, abbot (†547). Founder of the Benedictine Order, which was the harbinger of the Middle Ages. From the Benedictines came the evangelizers of the barbarian peoples, which gave rise to European Christian civilization. He is thus hailed as the father of Western monasticism and patron of Europe. The maxim for his order was: Ora et labora.
First Reading – Is 1:10-17
Hear the word of the LORD, princes of Sodom! Listen to the instruction of our God, people of Gomorrah! What care I for the number of your sacrifices? says the LORD. I have had enough of whole-burnt rams and fat of fatlings; In the blood of calves, lambs and goats I find no pleasure. When you come in to visit me, who asks these things of you? Trample my courts no more! Bring no more worthless offerings; your incense is loathsome to me. New moon and sabbath, calling of assemblies, octaves with wickedness: these I cannot bear. Your new moons and festivals I detest; they weigh me down, I tire of the load. When you spread out your hands, I close my eyes to you; Though you pray the more, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood! Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil; learn to do good. Make justice your aim: redress the wronged, hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.
Responsorial Psalm – Ps 50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21 and 23 (R.23b)
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
for your burnt offerings are before me always.
I take from your house no bullock,
no goats out of your fold.” R.
“Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth,
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?” R.
“When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?
Or do you think you that I am like yourself?
I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.
He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me;
and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.” R.
Gospel – Mt 10:34-11:1
Jesus said to his Apostles: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household. “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple– amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.” When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples, he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.
St. Olga of Kiev (†969). Russian princess and grandmother of King St. Vladimir. The first Russian sovereign to receive Baptism, her conversion opened the doors of Russia to Christianity. She died in Kiev, present-day Ukraine.
St. Leontius, bishop (†c. 570). He stood out in Bordeaux, France as a builder and restorer of places of worship, and an advocate of the poor.
St. Quetilus, priest (†1151). Augustinian religious in Denmark, he promoted evangelization and acted as a peacemaker in the dynastic disputes of his country.
St. Abundius, priest and martyr (†854). Killed in Cordoba, during the persecution of the Moors, for his fearless confession of the Faith.
St. Hidulphus, abbot (†707). He lived as a hermit in the dense forest of Vosges, France. For the sake of his many followers he founded and governed the monastery of Moyenmoutier.
Blessed Bertrand, abbot (†1149). Superior of the Monastery of Grandselve, on the outskirts of Toulouse (France); he incorporated it into the Cistercian Order.