Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on March 20, 2009

Gospel reading of the day:

Mark 12:28-34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, He is One and there is no other than he. And to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Reflection on the gospel: At the center of Jesus’ teaching is his proclamation of the coming of the Kingdom of God. In today’s gospel, Jesus links a total love of God to a love of our neighbor and love for ourselves. By telling the scribe that he is not far from the kingdom of God when the scribe connects love of the kingdom and love of neighbor, Jesus tells us that the reign of God is near when we move toward God through our love of our neighbor.

Saint of the day: Saint Jósef Bilczewski was born in what is now the Ukraine in 1860. The eldest of nine children in a peasant family, he was a seminarian at Krakow, Poland. Ordained on 6 July 1884, he became a doctor of theology at the University of Vienna in 1886 and studied dogmatic theology and Christian archaeology in Rome and Paris.

He became a professor of theology at the University of Lviv in 1891 and archbishop of Leopoli in 1900. He often intervened with civil authorities on behalf of Poles, Ukrainians, and Jews. He guided his flock during World War I, the Polish-Ukrainian War, the Bolshevik invasion, and the anti-Catholic terror started by the Communists. Between 1918 and 1921, his archdiocese lost about 120 priests. He fought to protect everyone in his see, regardless of race or religion. He died of natural causes on March 20, 1923.

Spiritual reading: I am planted in Christ and am Christ’s daily toil. (Letter by Paulinus of Nola)

Personal note: I am traveling to go and visit my mother, and I won’t be back until later on Tuesday. I won’t have access to the Internet, so I won’t be able to publish for a few days. I hope you will forgive my absence and return when I return on March 25. In the meantime, I thought this was quite beautiful when I heard it:

May the angels watch over you as you make your way.

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