Monday, July 13, 2009

JULY 13 SAINT HENRY

“St. Henry II”
Artist and Date are
UNKNOWN

JULY 13

SAINT HENRY

Biographical Information about St. Henry [1]

Readings for the Memorial of St. Henry

Readings and Commentary:
[2]

FIRST READING
Micah 6:6-8

With what shall I come before the LORD,
and bow before God most high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with myriad streams of oil?
Shall I give my first-born for my crime,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
You have been told, O man, what is good,
and what the LORD requires of you:
Only to do the right and to love goodness,
and to walk humbly with your God.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on
Mi 6:6-8

We hear in these verses from the Prophet Micah, a response by the prophet to a lament by God against the impious of Israel. The prophet asks what it is that will please the Lord, listing greater and greater sacrifices, culminating in the sacrifice asked of Abraham: the sacrifice of the supplicant’s first-born. The passage ends with God’s response, for the listener to repent from evil and love what is good, closing with the phrase made popular in song:…and to walk humbly with your God.” This is one of the best expressions of the prophetic teaching on religion, the preparation for such New Testament passages as James 1:27.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6

R. (40:5a) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
or:
R.
(2a) Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.

or:
R.
(92:13-14) The just will flourish like the palm tree in the garden of the Lord.


Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
or:
R. Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.
or:
R. The just will flourish like the palm tree in the garden of the Lord.


He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
or:
R. Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.
or:
R. The just will flourish like the palm tree in the garden of the Lord.


Not so, the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
or:
R. Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.
or:
R. The just will flourish like the palm tree in the garden of the Lord.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on
Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6


Psalm 1 serves as a preface to the whole book of the psalms. The psalmist here exalts those who follow the Lord’s commands, and reflects upon the blessings they will receive. As in Romans 6:19ff, this selection emphasizes the contrast between the salvation of the just and the punishment of the wicked.

This wisdom psalm begins by extolling the virtue of those who follow the law. The focus is to look to God for guidance, and not to trust only in the counsel of men. Those who reject the law will be blown away like “chaff,” an image used in the Gospel as well (Matthew 3:12).

This portion of the psalm is later echoed in Isaiah 48:17-19, like an overlapped formula of covenant.  Blessed is the man who “delights in the law day and night,” but “the way of the wicked vanishes.” It also takes up the theme of following right paths and staying true to the teachings of God: “Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, but delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on his law day and night.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GOSPEL
Matthew 7:21-27

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,'
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day,
`Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name?
Did we not drive out demons in your name?
Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?'
Then I will declare to them solemnly,
`I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.'

"Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Commentary on Mt 7:21-27

Jesus is concluding his warning about listening to false prophets in this reading. He tells his followers that, because a person claims affiliation with Jesus and has done public acts that testify to their allegiance to him, that does not mean they will be given the promise of the faithful. They will be judged based upon their lived expression of the values of Christ – foundational values.


To emphasize this point the allegory of the person building a house on sand or rock is used. Those who follow Jesus' law of love (“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them”) will be like the wise person who builds upon rock (referring to Psalm 31). Those who hear his words and do not act on them (faith without actions) are the foolish who build upon sand.

CCC: Mt 7:21-27 1970; Mt 7:21 443, 1821, 2611, 2826
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reflection:

St. Henry is one of the rare saints who did not serve God in an ordained capacity or as a member of a vowed religious community. Although, according to various histories, he aspired in his earlier years to become a priest, he assumed secular titles, first as Duke of Bavaria, and at his father’s death, King of Germany. In his monarchical status he did great work on behalf of God’s Kingdom, applying Christian values and virtue to his rule.

St. Henry serves as a shining example of what the laity is called to be. While he was never placed under obedience, either through ordination or vow, he worked in his secular profession to improve the Church, and his values colored his administrative actions. The foundation of faith that had been given to him was repeatedly brought forward, as he was noted for his works of charity and evangelization.

In St. Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus speaks of those who will enter the Kingdom of God as being those who do“…the will of my Father in heaven.” We are reminded once more that it is not just acts of piety in ecclesial spaces that please God as the Prophet Micah records, but rather a heart motivated by the love of God to bring justice to the world.

On this memorial of good Saint Henry, let us pledge to pray with our hands and preach the Gospel always, using words when we must.

Pax

[1] The picture is “St. Henry II” Artist and Date are UNKNOWN
[2] Text of Readings is taken from the New American Bible, Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 1973, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved.

No comments: