2 Peter 1:2-7 “…make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love.”
Psalm 91: 1-2, 14-15b, 15c-16 “…In you, my God, I place my trust.”
Mark 12: 1-12 “…Have you not read this Scripture passage: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes?’…”
Memorial of St. Boniface (672?-754) known as the apostle to the Germans, he was a Benedictine monk from England sent to aid in the conversion of the people of Germany. His steadfast orthodoxy and fidelity to the Pope of Rome are his trademarks, which greatly contributed to his success at reigniting the faith of the people. Also contributing was the letter of “safe-conduct” written by the Frankish ruler, Charles Martel, whose support was needed at that time. He later became a regional bishop and was able to restore the obedience of the clergy to their bishops in union with the pope of Rome; and he set up houses of prayer, as Benedictine monasteries throughout Germany. He was martyred along with 53 companions while preparing converts for Confirmation.
As I write my reflection this week, I am making an 8-Day silent retreat, listening to the Lord and listening to Fr. Thomas Keating describe the spiritual journey. The retreat is taking place in a Benedictine retreat house in Schuyler, NE that was founded by Fr. Andreas Amrhein from Germany who was also a Benedictine monk. He started this order to go back to the practice of being a missionary monk, just as St. Boniface, even though Boniface’s work was begun to restore the faith of people who had lost their faith. Fr. Andreas got permission to begin in 1884, with the site for the monastery of St. Ottilien established in Emming in Upper Bavaria in 1886. To read more about St. Boniface as mentioned in their website history page, click here. Their missions are established in several countries in Africa, and also in Korea and Peru, South America.
Our hearts were wide open to the Holy Spirit all week; the gift of which we celebrated yesterday with the Feast of Pentecost. Today, in our first reading, we hear from the Great St. Peter. This work attributable to Peter advises us to “make every effort to supplement you faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love” (2 Peter 1:5&6) in order to escape the corruption that is in the world. God is Love, and God Alone can bring happiness, everything else is temporary.
In the Gospel from Mark, we are reminded of a story told by Jesus before he was condemned to death. It is the teaching that describes God’s building of His Kingdom here on earth. Mankind is to be the steward and take care of the planting. In the parable the man (God) plants a vineyard and hands it over to tenants for lease (that’s us). But, the tenants reject every servant (prophet) the man sends to collect the fruits of the produce. And finally when the man sends his son (Jesus) to collect, the people (us) kill the son thinking they can claim the land, since the man’s only son will be eliminated. But Jesus asks the chief priests, the scribes and the elders if they have not read the scripture “the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord had this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes?” (Mark 12:10&11) They leave him then because they know he is talking about them.
My week of listening to the Lord through silence has renewed me and readied me for my next day on the journey. Life on this good earth is challenging; and it seems to intensify each day. It would seem the challenges are a function of age, or are they a function of our inability to Trust God as we should? I wonder sometimes how one survives without faith, the hope for a better way? Our responsorial psalm for today from Psalm 91 is “In you, my God, I place my trust.” Let us pray to become more trusting and more faithful.
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