Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on February 19, 2010

Gospel reading of the day:

Matthew 9:14-15

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: The gospel passage is about what is most meaningful. Fasting and other forms of asceticism have had their place in every world religion; Jesus does not denigrate the practice when it is used for a purpose, but the point is not to fast but rather to cultivate and rejoice in the presence of the Lord.

Saint of the day: Born in 1290, Conrad of Piacenza was a nobleman who married Euphrosyne, daughter of a nobleman. One day while hunting, he ordered attendants to set fire to some brush in order to flush out the game. A strong wind carried the flames to nearby fields, forests, towns, and villages. Conrad fled in panic; an innocent peasant was imprisoned, tortured into a confession and condemned to death for the fire. Remorseful, Conrad stepped forth to confess, saving the man. He then paid for the damaged property.

Conrad and his wife saw the hand of God in the dramatic events and chose to give the poor everything they owned. They then separated: she to a Poor Clare monastery, he to a group of Franciscan teriary hermits. Conrad lived such a life of piety that his reputation for holiness spread quickly; had the gift of healing. Visitors destroyed his solitude, so he fled to a the valley of Noto in Sicily where he lived 36 years in prayer as a hermit.

Legend says that when the Bishop of Syracuse visited him, the bishop asked if Conrad had anything to offers guests. Conrad said he would check in his cell. He returned carrying newly made cakes, which the bishop accepted as a miracle. Conrad returned the bishop’s visit, and made a general confession to him. As he arrived, he was surrounded by fluttering birds, who escorted him back to Noto. Conrad died kneeling before a crucifix in 1350.

Spiritual reading: I call heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

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