Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on September 6, 2011

Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 6:12-19

Jesus departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured. Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.

Reflection on the gospel reading: More than any of the other three gospels, Luke portrays Jesus in conscious contact with God through prayer. The prayer that Jesus taught to his disciples, the Our Father, begins with the hope that we will do God’s will, and we see throughout the gospels that Jesus sought to align his actions with God’s intentions. In today’s gospel, Jesus is about to make a critical decision in the selection of the 12 for participation in a particular way in his ministry. The gospel passage then proceeds to remind us that Jesus’ ministry was one of teaching and healing. In today’s reading then, we see a threefold movement: Jesus is in communion with the will of God and invites others to share his ministry. From here, he and those who accompany him reach out to teach and heal others. And so it is with us, that in communion with God through lives of prayer, we too wait to hear the Lord, that we may receive our own commissions of teaching and healing.

Saint of the day: Thomas Tsuji, S.J. (1570-1627) used many disguises to minister to Christians during the Great Persecution. He was born of a noble Japanese family near Omura, Japan, in 1570, and was educated by the Jesuits whom he joined in 1589. When the edict of 1614 ordered all Catholic priests be banished, Father Tsuji went to Macao and remained there for four years.

He returned to Japan disguised as a merchant and secretly resumed his ministry. Unlike the European Jesuits who could only do ministry in the night, Tsuji went about constantly, sometimes dressed like a gentleman, sometimes like an artisan. His favorite guise was a humble wood seller who could knock at the doors of Christian homes without arousing suspicion. As the persecution against Christians increased, Tsuji came to doubt that he could live up to the ideals of his brothers, and he asked to be released from his religious vows in 1619.

He soon asked to be readmitted but had to go through a period of probation which ended up lasting six years. Not long after he became a Jesuit again, soldiers burst into the house where he was staying just as he finished celebrating Mass. Tsuji admitted being a priest and was imprisoned in Omura. After 13 months he was finally sent to Nagasaki to be sentenced. Along with the two men who were at that final Mass, he was burned at the stake outside the city on the hill made holy by many martyrs.

Spiritual reading: There is a key word: solely, only or entirely. That is the key word—doing it only for God. This is the nishkam karma. On the day we are given the grace of doing action for the sake of action and nothing else, then our hearts will be aglow. The idea is doing action without desire for any fruit, and without any selfish intention at all. The action is done only for God’s glory. . . .

Finding God in all things presupposes a total death to the self. The death of the empirical self is the crowning glory of the Spiritual Exercises: that a person’s self-love, self-will, and self-interest have merged into the will and the interest and the love of Christ. As long as we can live this for a few moments, for a few hours, for a few days, we have become contemplatives in action. So it is really a mystical grace. We cannot produce it, but we can dispose ourselves for it by loving God. (Seeking God in All Thing by Anthony DeMello, S.J.)

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  1. […] September 6, 2011 from Cacina Rate this: Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in Anthony DeMello, Sights and Sounds and tagged blogshare. Bookmark the permalink. ← Lectio, September 6, 2011 […]

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