Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on January 11, 2012

Gospel reading of the day:

Mark 1:29-39

On leaving the synagogue Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them.

When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town was gathered at the door. He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.” He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.

Reflection on today’s gospel reading: Service, compassion, teaching, and prayer lie at the heart of Jesus’ ministry and, hence, at the heart of our Christian vocation. Today’s gospel opens with Jesus leaving the synagogue and is punctuated near its close with Jesus going off to a deserted place to pray. In the midst of his prayer, Jesus heals not only the mother-in-law of his friend but also those who are troubled in body and mind. In another witness to service, Jesus’ mother-in-law does not grumble about her lot but, as soon as she is able, rises to serve others. The passage tells us that Jesus makes haste to go and spread the good news to the surrounding communities. Today’s gospel instructs us to be available in service and compassion to the people that God puts in our paths, to teach to one another what God has revealed to us, and to find our deepest sustenance in prayerful communion with God as we give ourselves to our daily lives.

Saint of the day: William Carter was born in London in about 1548. He was a Roman Catholic English printer and martyr. The son of John Carter, a draper, and Agnes, his wife, he was apprenticed to John Cawood, the queen’s printer, on Candlemas Day, 1563, for ten years, and afterwards acted as secretary to Nicholas Harpsfield, last Catholic archdeacon of Canterbury and later a prisoner.

On the latter’s death he married and set up a press on Tower Hill. Among other Catholic books he printed a new edition (1000 copies) of Dr. Gregory Martin’s “A Treatise of Schism,” in 1580, for which he was at once arrested and imprisoned in the Gatehouse. Before this he had been in the Poultry Compter–a small prison run by a Sheriff in the City of London–from September 23 to October 28, 1578. He was transferred to the Tower in1582 and paid for his own food there to midsummer 1583. Having been tortured on the rack, he was indicted at the Old Bailey, the central criminal court in England, on January 10, 1584, for having printed Dr. Martin’s book, which contained a paragraph that expressed confidence that the Catholicism would triumph, and pious Judith would slay Holofernes. This was interpreted as an incitement to slay the queen, though it obviously had no such meaning. While William calmly placed his trust in God, the jury met for only 15 minutes before reaching a verdict of “guilty.” William, who made his final confession to a priest who was being tried alongside him, was hanged, drawn, and quartered the following day, January 11, 1584.

Spiritual reading: If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. (Soren Kierkegaard)

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