Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on September 5, 2011

Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 6:6-11

On a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely to see if he would cure on the sabbath so that they might discover a reason to accuse him. But he realized their intentions and said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up and stand before us.” And he rose and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” Looking around at them all, he then said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so and his hand was restored. But they became enraged and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.

Reflection on the gospel reading: The gospel passage seems particularly appropriate for Labor Day, as it is here in the United States, because it talks about the ultimate dignity of work. This passage from Luke follows immediately after the passage that we read on Saturday that recorded the conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees about the disciples’ plucking on the sabbath of grains in a field. Here, the scribes and Pharisees have set Jesus up to see whether he will heal on the sabbath and thus violate the prohibition against labor on the sabbath. The question in their minds is, “Is it a proper thing to violate the law?” Jesus, however, has a different question in his mind: Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it? The scribes and Pharisees can’t answer the question, because the answer is obvious. Jesus does what is good even if it might be a violation of the strictest interpretation of the law. The lesson Jesus teaches us here is unavoidable: doing good always trumps the law.

Saint of the day: Teresa of Calcutta was born August 26, 1910 in Skopje, Macedonia. She was the daughter of an Albanian businessman who died when she was nine years old. She became a nun, a missionary, and a teacher in Calcutta, India in 1928. In 1948, she left the convent to work alone with the poor and became an Indian citizen. She founded the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity in 1950.

In 1957, the Missionaries of Charity started their work with lepers and in disaster areas. She received the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize in 1971, the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding in 1972, and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. The Missionaries consist of over 4,500 sisters and are active in 133 countries. Mother died September 5, 1997 in Calcutta, India of natural causes.

Spiritual reading: Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. (Mother Teresa)

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