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Thursday, July 11, 1996

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St. Benedict

Hosea 11:1, 3-4, 8-9
Psalm 80
Matthew 10:7-15

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"I drew them with human cords, with bands of love; I fostered them like one who raises an infant to his cheeks." —Hosea 11:4

The Lord has made human beings in such a way that we experience love by being bonded to one another through sensory experiences. Therefore, the Lord has promised to draw us to Himself by such experiences as touching, feeding, and healing us (Hos 11:4). The Lord fulfilled His promise by becoming a human being. John proclaimed: "This is what we proclaim to you: what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked upon and our hands have touched — we speak of the Word of life" (1 Jn 1:1). We could then touch, hear, and see God. We could eat, walk, and talk with Him.

When Jesus ascended into heaven, He did not deprive us of further opportunities to be bonded to Him. Jesus said: "It is much better for you that I go. If I fail to go, the Paraclete will never come to you, whereas if I go, I will send Him to you" (Jn 16:7). The Holy Spirit continued and extended the presence of Jesus incarnate by giving birth to the Church, the body of Christ. Now we can see, hear, and touch Jesus in millions of people simultaneously throughout the world. We have even greater and better opportunities to be bonded to Jesus. In fact, He not only feeds us with food but also with His own body and blood (Jn 6:55). We not only hear and see Him, but even have Him living within us (see Jn 6:56; 17:23).

By the Spirit, in the Church, and through the Sacraments, we can be so strongly bonded to Jesus as to "grasp fully, with all the holy ones, the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ's love, and experience this love" (Eph 3:18-19).

Prayer:  Father, "bind us together with cords that cannot be broken."

Promise:  "Cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the leprous, expel demons." —Mt 10:8

Praise:  So many people followed Benedict into the monastic life that on one occasion he had to expand his monastery shortly after he moved into it.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1995

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 4, 1995