Commentary on the Gospel of

Adrián de Prado Postigo CMF

Reading the Old Testament slowly gives the impression that Israel always had, in a thousand different ways, a voice that whispered its way. A voice of wisdom and prudence, of justice and truth, of memory and hope. Sometimes that voice cried out in the storm; others, it was guessed in the light breeze. But God never abandoned any pilgrim of faith: "My son, if you accept my words and keep my advice (...) you will reach the knowledge of God" (Prov 2,1.5).

This voice became more important when the horizon of life declines. In the moments of greatest confusion, God found a way to ensure that his people guarded "the path of duty, righteousness, and good paths" (Prov 2,8). He was a voice in the firmament that hung-over Abraham when old age lurked, a voice in the bush that fascinated Moses when slavery increased, a voice in the zither by the channels of Babylon when desolation took hold. A voice that, in short, opened paths of eternal life when the paths of this passing world were closed.

Over the centuries, and over distances, Christians had to face one of the deepest crises in their history when, back in the 5th and 6th centuries, the Roman Empire, which had made Christianity its official religion, suffered its most important political and social crisis, with the consequent crisis of customs, values ??and faith. At that moment, the voice of the Lord was manifested in the humble and provocative life of a man who, against everything and everyone, decided to withdraw to find himself. With his gesture and his word, embodied in the new monastic life described by his Rule, Saint Benedict cleared an unusual path when everything threatened ruin. Thus, as if he were an old sage from Israel, he spoke old words that sounded new: «Listen, son to the precepts of the Master, and incline the ear of your heart; welcome the advice of a godly father and truly carry it out. (...) What sweeter thing for us, dear brothers, than this voice of the Lord that invites us? See how the Lord piously shows us the way of life» (from the Prologue to the Rule of the monks).

In that Benedictine whisper the spiritual edifice of Europe was founded. A building that, nowadays, is perhaps as fragile and shaky as then. A building that, however, we can still inhabit –with wealth and joy–, even though if we feel ourselves poor. The Lord continues making his voice and his promise heard at this time: "you too, those who have followed me, will receive a hundred times more and inherit eternal life".


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