Tuesday of the Thirty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
November 14, 2017
Readings of the day: RB 36Mass: Wisdom 2:23-3:9; Resp. Psalm 34; Luke 17:7-10 Foot Washing on Holy Thursday
The readings from the Rule of Saint Benedict for today and tomorrow introduce us to today’s Gospel from Saint Luke. RB 36, “Care of the Sick,” reads in part: “Care of the sick must rank above and before all else, so that they may truly be served as Christ. Sick sisters must be patiently borne with, because serving them leads to a greater reward. Consequently, the abbess should be extremely careful that they suffer no neglect” (RB 36:1,6). Ch. 37, “Care for the Elderly and the Young,” begins, “Although human nature itself is inclined to be compassionate toward the old and the young, the authority of the rule should also provide for them” (RB 37:1). The chapters flow from Ch. 35, “Kitchen Servers of the Week.” The first verse, “The sisters should serve one another,” is the center of our communal life, namely living charity—Loving and serving God with our whole heart, mind, and soul, and loving and serving our neighbor (RB 4:1). All that we do in the monastery flows from charity and leads to charity. We are called to foster good zeal with fervent love, respect one another, support one another with patience, compete in obedience to one another, and pursue what is better for the other instead of what is better for myself. We are to show the pure love of sisters. (RB 72) The precepts presented us by Saint Benedict are not optional; our monastic vocations call us to grow in charity through a life of service to one another, as do all Christian vocations. We stumble and fall yet the Living God sustains us with LOVE and MERCY so that we can serve one another with love and mercy. The sisters are obliged to love and serve the sick, elderly, and young—no one should suffer neglect.WE ARE UNPROFITABLE SERVANTS;WE HAVE DONE WHAT WE ARE OBLIGED TO DO.Luke 17:10What you did for one of the least of these you did for me.(RB 36:3/Matt. 25:30).