CACINA

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on April 23, 2009

Gospel reading of the day:

John 3:31-36

The one who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things. But the one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy. For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit. The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.

Reflection on the gospel reading: We are called to believe in Jesus, because the Father loves the Son. Our gift for our belief is eternal life. The evangelist seems to connect belief with obedience when he observes that the reward of belief is eternal life and the punishment for disobedience, the failure to see life. This passage of the gospel indicates then that an elemental part of our lives as Christians is belief in the Son whom the Father has sent into the world and belief in Jesus is obedience to the Father’s will for us.

Saint of the day: Adalbert was the Archbishop of Mainz from 1111 to 1137. He was of the family of the Counts of Saarbrücken, and under both Henry IV and Henry V of Germany he held the office of imperial chancellor, discharging his duties with energy and skill. In 1110, as head of an embassy sent to Rome to arrange for the coronation of Henry V as Emperor.

Adalbert was disposed to help Henry in his political intrigues, and Henry named him Archbishop of Mainz. From the day when, as Archbishop elect, he received the insignia of his office, Adalbert become a changed man. Whether this change was due to a realization of his sacred duties or to an awakening to his part in Henry’s shenanigans is not known. At any rate the ex-chancellor, lately so blindly zealous for the Emperor in right or wrong, became henceforth a brave and loyal defender of the Church. In 1112, Henry V was excommunicated, and Adalbert fearlessly promulgated the sentence; whereupon the enraged Emperor cast him into a dark dungeon. After three years of cruel imprisonment had reduced him to a mere skeleton, the people of Mainz forced Henry to release him. The episcopal consecration, delayed by his confinement, was then received at the hands of Otto, Bishop of Bamberg (1115). Later, when Adalbert was made a legate, Henry seized some pretext for attacking Mainz, and Adalbert aroused the Saxon princes to arms. The two armies met, but arbitration prevented a battle. As a result, the Council of Worms (1122) was finally held, bringing to a close the long strife regarding Investitures. In 1125 Henry V was on his deathbed, and being without male issue sent the imperial insignia to his wife Matilda, daughter of Henry I of England. The politic Adalbert, ever on the alert to ward off any danger of a schism, induced Matilda to return the insignia, and called an assembly of princes, who chose as Henry’s successor Lothair II the Saxon, afterward crowned Emperor in Rome in1133. Thus the Empire passed from the house of Franconia to that of Saxony, which had so long proved itself loyal to the Church. Adalbert died in 1137, having atoned for his early injustice by long years of faithful and efficient service in all that touched the interests of truth and the welfare of the Church.

Spiritual reading: Detachment from things does not mean setting up a contradiction between “things” and “God” as if God were another “thing” and as if His creatures were His rivals.

We do not detach ourselves from things in order to attach ourselves to God, but rather we become detached from ourselves, in order to see and use all things in and for God. (Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton)

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