Saturday of the 5th week in ordinary time

1 Kings 12: 26-32; 13: 33-34      Mark 8: 1-10

Theme: Build a relationship

Today the church celebrates the memorial of St. Scholastica, the twin sister of St. Benedict. They both lived a monastic life and founded monasteries for both male and female. She was very close to God and her life was dedicated to God when she was still very young, and she continued living a good life until the end of her life on earth. One story that readily comes to my mind about her closeness to God, is the story about when St. Benedict visited her sometime ago in her nunnery. She pleaded with her brother to spend the night in their community, but he insisted that he must go back to his monastery, and it is said that St. Scholastica prayed to God, and it started raining heavily, such that St. Benedict had to spend the night in his sister’s community. Then she said, “I asked you and you would not listen; so, I asked my God, and he did listen”. This is one of the things a good relationship with God can do for you. When you call him, he will answer you. As we celebrate her feast day today, we are presented with another opportunity for us to review our relationship with the Lord, who constantly extends his ‘hands of friendship’ to us. We can decide today to accept that ‘hand’ of friendship and begin to build a better relationship with the Lord.

In the 1st reading of today, we see the extent to which insecurity can lead an individual in the life of Jeroboam. Over time we have seen how people have allowed their fear and insecurity to lead them astray, into their own destruction. It was this same insecurity that led to the killing of the Holy Innocents by King Herod because he was determined to kill the newborn King. Jeroboam is afraid that the people will leave him and continue to go to Jerusalem for their sacrifices, and the heart of the people will turn again to the Lord, and they will kill him. As a result of this fear, he built two altars at Bethel and Dan for the people to go and worship. All these points to the fact that he had no relationship with the Lord. If he had a good relationship with God, he would have realized that the battle he is trying to fight is not necessary and his fears are uncalled for and should be avoided. Let us all learn from the life of St. Scholastica and the 1st reading of today to build a better relationship with God, for our own good. May the Lord bless his words in our hearts, in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit, Amen. Peace be with you.

Saturday of the 5th week in ordinary time, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp