Judica me, Deus, et discérne causam meam de gente non sancta ("Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy.") (Ps. 43) Today is Judica or Passion Sunday in the western tradition, the beginning of Passiontide. The Epistle draws attention to Christ being the mediator of the new Testament as both High Priest and sacrifice. The Gospel relates growing conflict as Jesus reveals His identity as the Son of God (the "I AM" who was before Abraham) and is rejected and threatened with death. Changes in the church building and in the liturgy at this time reflect a more solemn emphasis and encourage deeper reflection on Jesus' Passion and pending death on the cross.
The Western Church commemorates St. Benedict, Abbot, who died on this date A.D. 543 His "Rule" (influenced by the writings of John Cassian and the Rule of the Master) for monks influenced many religious communities and became influential throughout the Middle Ages, becoming known as the "Rule of Benedict." Benedict is often considered the founder of monasticism in the West. The influence of the Rule of Benedict continues until this day. In 1964 Benedict was declared the patron saint of Europe.