Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on October 12, 2010

Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 11:37-41

After Jesus had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: We know that Jesus was observant of the religious traditions of his people, but we also know that Jesus often looked for opportunities to teach. Certainly, the practice of washing hands before a meal as a hygienic practice is strongly recommended, but the Pharisees had turned the practice into a religious obligation, one not supported in the Mosaic law, and one that they used to pass judgment. Jesus well may have observed the custom in his ordinary life but elected in this circumstance to make a point about what really makes one clean inside, like taking care of the poor through almsgiving, rather than external religious practices with little or no capacity to manifest the deepest truths about the human condition. Examples of human legislation influencing religious practice are abundant in our times, so the lesson that Jesus taught the Pharisee is equally applicable to our own circumstances. For example, what tells the greatest truths about our Christian life isn’t abstinence from meat on Fridays in Lent; it is how we respond to the beggar on the street who asks us for some change.

Saint of the day: Wilfred of York was the son of a Northumbrian king in 634 in Northumbria, England . His mother died when he was a boy, and he never got along with his step-mother. At age 14, partly to escape the miserable family life, he was sent to the court of Oswy, King of Northumbria. He studied at the monastery of Lindisfarne for three years, then accompanied Saint Benedict Bishop to Rome where he studied under archdeacon Boniface. He stayed in Lyons for three years to study the monastic life, and became a monk, but left during persecutions of the local Christians. He was appointed abbot of the monastery at Ripon for five years, and placed it under the Benedictine Rule and became a priest.

saintw64He was instrumental in bringing Roman liturgical practice and rules to the region, working influentially at the Synod of Whitby in 664. Bishop Colman and several of his monks, opposing the new practice, withdrew to the north. Wilfrid was chosen as the new bishop and traveled to France for ordination, considering the dissenting northern bishops to be schismatics. He returned to England in 666, nearly dying at the hands of hostile pagans when his ship wrecked on the coast of Sussex. However, he had taken so long to come back that Saint Chad had been chosen to replace him. Wilfrid retired to the monastery at Ripon and evangelized in Mercia and Kent. In 669 Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury explained to Saint Chad that Wilfrid should have the see; Chad withdrew, and Wilfrid resumed the bishopric.

During his tenure Wilfrid worked to enforce Roman ritual, founded Benedictine monasteries, and rebuilt the minster of York, all while living a simply and holy life himself. He became embroiled in political discord when he encouraged Queen Etheldrida to move to a convent when she no longer wished to live with her husband, King Ecgfrid. When Archbishop Theodore subdivided Wilfrid’s diocese to reduce his influence, Wilfrid appealed to Rome. The bishop of Rome ruled in Wilfrid’s favour, and the three intruding bishops were removed. However, when Wilfrid returned to England King Ecgfrid accused him of buying the decision, and imprisoned him at Bambrough then exiled him to Sussex.

He worked as a missionary in heathen Sussex. He reconciled with Archbishop Theodore, who had also been working in Sussex, in 686, and when Aldfrid became king of Northumbria, Theodore insured Wilfrid’s return from exile. He served as bishop of Hexham, and then of York again. However, when he tried to consolidate the dioceses again, the king and Theodore opposed him, and he Wilfrid was forced to appeal again to Rome in 704. Through a series of meetings, synods and rulings, Wilfrid became bishop of Hexham and Ripon, but not York. He died in 709 at Oundle, Northhamptonshire, England.

body_of_christSpiritual reading: In general, when you deal with the neighbor, let your eyes be averted, and try not to think of this one or that one as handsome or ugly, but rather as the image of the most holy Trinity, as a member of Christ and bathed in His blood. (Letter to Emerio de Bonis, May 23, 1556, by Ignatius of Loyola)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: