Daily Office Readings for Saturday of Proper 9:Year 2
Psalm 20, 21:1-7(8-14); Psalm 110:1-5(6-7), 116, 117; Deut. 34:1-12; Rom. 10:14-21; Matt. 24:32-51
“But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” But not all have obeyed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:14 – 17)
Paul really narrows it down as he moves through the logic of reason to drive home the point of “hearing the word.” This Word is something we believers are supposed to articulate to the world in order that more people might believe. Paul repeats the word of the Prophet Isaiah as the former Prophet declares, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” (Isaiah 52:7) We have a Cursillo song that goes “Our God Reigns.” And you know, God really does indeed.
Today I believe we have those beautiful feet that cary the Good News (Gospel).
Today we remember Benedict of Nursia Abbot of Monte Casino, c. 540
“Benedict is generally accounted the father of western monasticism. He was born about 480, at Nursia in central Italy, and was educated at Rome. The style of life he found there disgusted him. Rome at this time was overrun by various barbarian tribes; the period was one of considerable political instability, a breakdown of western society, and the beginnings of barbarian kingdoms. Benedict’s disapproval of the manners and morals of Rome led him to a vocation of monastic seclusion. He withdrew to a hillside cave above Lake Subiaco, about forty miles west of Rome, where there was already at least one other monk. Gradually, a community grew up around Benedict. Sometime between 525 and 530, he moved south with some of his disciples to Monte Cassino, midway between Rome and Naples, where he established another community, and, about 540, composed his monastic Rule. He does not appear to have been ordained or to have contemplated the founding of an “order.” He died sometime between 540 and 550 and was buried in the same grave as his sister, Scholastica.” (from Great Cloud of Witnesses for July 11)
Is there a theological connection between Paul’s lesson of hearing the Word and Benedict’s lesson of adhearng to a rule of life? I think so. Benedict’s monastic order required a vow. At profession, the new monk takes vows of stability, amendment of life, and obedience. So, we have from Paul the responsibility of carrying out the Word, and from Benedict an amendment of life and obedience. Is it possible to do both? Absolutely. You have beautiful feet. Get moving people!
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John