Tuesday, October 6, 2009

OCTOBER 6 SAINT BRUNO

“Vision of St Bruno”
by Jusepe de Ribera, 1643
OCTOBER 6

SAINT BRUNO, PRIEST
 

Biographical Information about St. Bruno [1]

Readings for the Memorial of St. Bruno

Readings and Commentary:
[2]

FIRST READING
 
Philippians 3:8-14

Brothers and sisters:
I consider everything as a loss
because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things
and I consider them so much rubbish,
that I may gain Christ and be found in him,
not having any righteousness of my own based on the law
but that which comes through faith in Christ,
the righteousness from God,
depending on faith to know him and the power of his resurrection
and the sharing of his sufferings by being conformed to his death,
if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

It is not that I have already taken hold of it
or have already attained perfect maturity,
but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it,
since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ Jesus.
Brothers and sisters, I for my part
do not consider myself to have taken possession.
Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind
but straining forward to what lies ahead,
I continue my pursuit toward the goal,
the prize of God's upward calling, in Christ Jesus.

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Commentary on
Phil 3:8-14

Paul begins this selection with his own profession – all he has given up for the Lord counts for nothing as he holds Christ’s Lordship as the only thing of worth. He goes on to say that it is only through his faith in Christ that he receives salvation, that his former devotion to the Law of Moses did not accomplish salvation (as the Jews believe).

In the second section Paul again uses himself as example, telling the Philippians that (even) he has not achieved the end goal of “perfect maturity” (a final state of grace); rather he still pursues that goal.

This discourse likely addresses some members of the community who fell they have achieved that high state of grace and have lost their humility. By his example Paul, who in his status as founder would be considered to have been further along this course, demonstrates the humble attitude that should be present.


CCC: Phil 3:8-11 428; Phil 3:8 133; Phil 3:10-11 989, 1006; Phil 3:10 648
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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.
 

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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 is usual, this selection emphasizes the contrast between the salvation of the just and the punishment of the wicked, a reference to the covenant relationship sealed by sacrificial ritual.

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GOSPEL
 
Luke 9:57-62

As Jesus and his disciples were proceeding
on their journey
someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."
Jesus answered him,
"Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head."
And to another he said, "Follow me."
But he replied, "Lord, let me go first and bury my father."
But he answered him, "Let the dead bury their dead.
But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God."
And another said, "I will follow you, Lord,
but first let me say farewell to my family at home."
He said, "No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God."
 

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Commentary on
Lk 9:57-62

This passage from St. Luke’s Gospel gives us three sayings of Jesus about the requirement to place the values of Christian discipleship above all other requirements of life. Proclaiming the Kingdom of God must come before even family obligations.

In the first, “Foxes have dens…” Jesus does not deceive anyone – he lives in poverty, dedicated to his mission.

The second, “Let the dead bury their dead,” is a play on words: let the spiritually dead bury the physically dead. Jesus message is the message of life. This saying was never intended to be taken literally as filial piety is deeply ingrained in Jewish life.

In the third saying; “No one who…looks to what was left behind,” Jesus demands more than Elisha (see 1 Kings 19:19-21). “Plowing for the Kingdom demands sacrifice.”[3]
 
CCC: Lk 9:58 544
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Reflection:

Throughout the history of Christianity there have been individuals who have accepted the difficult discipline Jesus demands of his followers with such fervor that the Church has seen them as endowed with special grace. St. Bruno is one of these.

When he heard the voice of the Lord saying “Follow me” he embarked upon a life dedicated to advancing the faith. His call to holiness superseded everything else in his life. Ironically, his natural (or should we say “God-given) gifts as administrator and educator were to consume much of his life when he clearly would rather have immersed himself in religious life.

The Lord asks that we follow him and listen to his voice. Sometimes that voice directs us to places we would rather not go. Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves. We must be in a constant state of discernment, seeking to go where he leads. St. Bruno is with the hosts in the Heavenly Kingdom interceding for just that. His example of dedication and faith are a lamp to our steps and his
Carthusian Order continues his noble work as a constant reminder of his fidelity.

Pax

[1] The picture is “Vision of St Bruno” by Jusepe de Ribera, 1643
[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.
[3] See Jerome Biblical Commentary, Prentice Hall, Inc., © 1968, 44:97.

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