Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on March 20, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

John 8:31-42

Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son always remains. So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free. I know that you are descendants of Abraham. But you are trying to kill me, because my word has no room among you. I tell you what I have seen in the Father’s presence; then do what you have heard from the Father.”

crucifixion  by Renator GuttusoThey answered and said to him, “Our father is Abraham.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works of Abraham. But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God; Abraham did not do this. You are doing the works of your father!” So they said to him, “We were not born of fornication. We have one Father, God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and am here; I did not come on my own, but he sent me.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Life in Jesus is not a one-time, one-day event. We don’t just get Jesus–we don’t just arrive and never need to do any more work. Jesus dares us to undertake a journey, and the invitation is the deepest meaning of our renewal each year throughout the liturgical calendar, summed up perhaps in the intense focus this renewal receives in Lent. Jesus says, “If God were your father, you would love me, for I came from God.” To see Jesus more clearly, follow him more nearly, and love him more dearly is the path into the presence of the Lord of spirits and flesh, and since that Lord has fashioned us like garments to fit the pattern of his own form, it is in Jesus and only with Jesus that can realize who we are, whether or not the name Jesus is explicit in our minds.

Maria-Josefa-Sancho-de-GuerraSaint of the day: Maria Josefa Sancho de Guerra (Maria Josefa of the Heart of Jesus) was born on September 7, 1842 in the city of Vitoria (which is in the Basque Country of Spain). She was a Spanish nun, founder of the Institute of the Servants of Jesus charity, and declared a saint in 2000. Her father died when she was seven. At fifteen, she was sent to Madrid to live with some relatives to complete here education. At 18 she responded to a religious vocation she had always felt and became a nun at the Institute of the Servants of Mary, taking the religious name of Maria Josefa of the Heart of Mary.

With consultation with spiritual companions, she decided to leave the Institute of the Servants of Mary to found a new religion congregation. Along with other colleagues who had left the Institute of the Servants of Mary, she founded in Balbao in 1871 the Institute of the Servants of Jesus; she served as the superior of the new Institute for 41 years. This new institution was founded to aid the sick in hospitals and in their homes, the elderly, children, and the homeless. The institution has grown since its first open house in Bilbao in 1871, so that when Maria Josefa died of natural causes on March 20, 1912, there were 43 houses and a thousand Sisters of the institution which she had founded. Today the Institute is in 16 countries and has nearly 100 homes.

Spiritual reading: It’s important not to love ourselves so much that we’re not willing to take the risks that history demands of us. (Oscar Romero, from the homily he preached just moments before his murder while saying Mass on March 24, 1980)

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