Daily Reflection
July 11th, 2001
Eden Foord
Campus Ministry
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Memorial of St. Benedict 
Genesis 41:55-57; 42:5-7, 17-24
Psalms 33:2-3, 10-11, 18-19
Matthew 10:1-7

Today is the feast of St. Benedict.  He was born in central Italy in 490.  For several years as a teenager Benedict lived in a cave outside of Rome as a hermit.  During this hermitage he made a close study of scripture and completely surrendered to God.  As his popularity grew and his cave dwelling became too small to house followers, Benedict established a monastery at Monte Cassino.  This new monastery became the home of the Benedictine Order.  The Order of St. Benedict continued to grow and reached a total of 14 communities by the time of Benedict’s death in 543.  By the 14th century it is reported that there were more than 30,000 Benedictine communities. 

Benedict is not only recognized as the founder of a monastic movement, but also for establishing the “Rule of St. Benedict.”  The “Rule” was a guide to the way monastics should live in community.  The “Rule” intermingled work, study, and prayer so that monastics would not be left to the evils of idleness.  Benedict’s “Rule” transformed monastic communities throughout Europe and the world, and is still followed today.

Today’s gospel reading and feast of St. Benedict remind us that God does appoint leaders to renew and reform the faith of the lost sheep.  In the gospel reading Jesus gives the apostles specific instruction to renew the faith of the lost sheep of Israel.  Benedict was sent to reform monastic life.  These leaders have forever changed how others live their Christian faith.

My prayer today is that we too can follow in the footsteps of these leaders and be inspired to proclaim to the lost sheep that we encounter --- “The reign of God is at hand!”

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