Daily Homily Thoughts, 1/17/2017

Fr. Rupert OstdickToday we celebrate the Father of All Monks, St. Anthony of Egypt. He was only 20 when, one day, the Gospel at Mass was Jesus telling his apostles to leave everything behind and follow him. Anthony did just that and so became the first monk.  Many people wanted to follow his example, so 30 years later he founded a monastery. He lived to be 105.  We need monks. They show us that God is all we need and he is more than enough. Today a saintly monk at St. Meinrad will be buried, Fr. Rupert Ostdick, OSB.  He had a reputation in the seminary for being able to read souls. He could pierce through your eyes into your heart. He had all of our names memorized, even though he did not see us seminarians often. Last night at the Office of the Dead, Fr Gavin noted that Fr. Rupert was a “man of many loves” and that his love was “extraordinary” and “predictable.” He did not “expect, anticipate, and did not welcome” all of his assignments; but in his love he undertook them generously–and because “love by its nature is expansive,” one assignment led to another. And he did them masterfully. Fr. Gavin ended his reflection yesterday night with these beautiful words: In countless ways, the monastic life for Fr. Rupert appears to have been as St. Benedict’s rule promises, a rule of life that teaches monks how to run on the path to God with hearts overflowing with love, which no words can express. Clearly Fr. Rupert’s monastic experience was blessed, and he was blessed in a way that only love can grow: filled with people–family, friends, confreres, colleagues, coworkers, oblates, and heavenly patrons. So many to love, so many to be loved by.  With all these looking to him for direction, guidance, and maybe hope, a kind of intercession, with all these looking to him all through his life, how could Fr. Rupert have failed to be nothing less than a man of many loves?  Well done good and faithful servant. Enter now the joy of God’s kingdom.