The Abbot must, therefore, be well versed in the Divine Law, that he may know whence to bring forth new things and old; …and let him seek rather to be loved than to be feared. (Rule of St. Benedict: Ch. 64)
May 15—PentecostActs 2:1-111 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13John 4:15-16, 23b-26Dear God’s Blessed People, On this great feast, Pentecost, it really is a blessing to gather to celebrate this event. The first Reading tell us what happened, the wind, the fire, the different languages. The Second Reading and the Gospel give us some of the implications of receiving the Holy Spirit for living our life. What is the difference between a good person and a Catholic or another Christian? My brothers, there is a lot of good that can and needs to be done here at the Abbey. No one can do it all, but we each can do some. We do our tasks regarding prayer, community life and work. The same is true for all of you good people here this morning. There is more work in the Richardton-Taylor area than any one person can do. And then there is the county, the state, the many boards that serve this or that public need, etc. We each can do some good, but what?This is where the difference between a naturally good person and a Catholic or other Christian shows up. From all the good that can and needs to be done, which is for you? What does Jesus Christ, the head of the Church have for you? Not my will, but yours is the attitude of Jesus. He says today, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” That is general and applies for everyone. At the end of the Gospel Jesus tells us something important, namely, “the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you”. Great, but this also is quite general and refers to how we as the Church are to live our faith.The Second Reading is more to the point. “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit.” Later St. Paul will say that the greatest spiritual gift is love. Today he goes on: “There are different forms of service but the same Lord. … To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.” The benefit is not just for me, but for the good of others. What is yours?My brothers, when does the benefit given you by the Holy Spirit for the good of our community begin and end each day? Is it with the completion of your job and the horarium of the community? I sure hope not. Are you an employee of the Abbey who has a certain task and if that task is done early and you have two hours left are you done? No. If the Holy Spirit leads you then you will love. You will love and because of that you will find other ways to serve the community, little odds and ends no one is assigned to, like getting rid of cobwebs in the basement ceiling of the library building, or hoeing weeds in the garden, etc. I am only talking about the able-bodied and not the elders among us. I am glad that we have a community of monks who see beyond their assigned work if time allows. Keep that up. And the same applies to all of you good people here today.Out of all the good that can and needs to be done, which is yours? It is not hard to find out. Each day try to develop the attitude, well, Lord, today help me to live as your daughter/son. Today Lord, help me to do things your way. Today give me your heart and help me to see the world, our area, our country as you see them. That is all, yet it is a lot. This kind of attitude places the Lord in charge of our life. It is living our faith in a spirit of love. It is Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit, the coming of God’s love, the coming of the unifier, the one who enables us to speak the universal language of love. In the creed will say momentarily, we call him the Lord and giver of life. Blessed are you to have received him. Amen.
Abbot Daniel’s Sunday Homily
The Abbot must, therefore, be well versed in the Divine Law, that he may know whence to bring forth new things and old; …and let him seek rather to be loved than to be feared.