Carry the gospel with you

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

walk-to-emmaus-1938.jpg!BlogGospel reading of the day:

John 6:60-69

Many of Jesus’ disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”

As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: When we’re young, full of hope, and especially excited to be here, life holds something of an illusion of limitless possibilities. There is a certain truth to that experience of infinite openness, because when we’re first starting out, we can choose almost anything–at least, almost anything within the context of who we are and where we are. But whatever truth there is in the limitless possibilities we perceive when we’re young, there is also a falsehood. We make choices at every given moment, and every choice we make–even if it is to do nothing–turns us into something. Choosing nothing day after day is an act of self-determination.

Every day we breathe poses to us certain questions: Do I believe? Do I really believe? Who is God? Who am I? Who am I in relationship to God? And if I am this or that in relation to God, what does it mean in the concrete messiness of my day-to-day life?

In today’s gospel, all the disciples make a choice. Some choose to return to their old and comfortable pursuits; some choose to walk the road which Jesus walks. Robert Frost once famously wrote that he had taken the path less traveled, and it had made all the difference. The choices we make today make all the difference. It is possible, I think, to live a comfortable life outside the light of the gospel, but we only walk this way once. Simon Peter asked the right question, “To whom shall we go?”

Saint of the day: The Servant of God Juan Paco Baeza was born on June 29, 1890, in Murcia, Spain. His parents were humble laborers. He was baptized the day after his birth in the Cathedral of Murcia was Juan Pedro Pablo Mariano de Gracia. From childhood, he helped his father work the land and picked up trash along the streets of the city. As a young man regularly expressed his wish to be a priest. At age 16, he was prepared by a priest friend of the family and entered the College of St. Joseph Vocations, Diocesan Seminary today. He was ordained a priest Juan Paco Baezain the Cathedral of Murcia in May 1918.

Fr. Juan had various pastoral appointment until 1939. At that point, he became the pastor of El Salvador in Jumilla and stayed in that position until 1968. Then he served as chaplain of a monastery and later, the chaplain of an asylum where he served until his death. Fr. Juan made his life into a virtue and a gift. The people who knew him understood that whatever their need, Fr. Juan would be available to try and do something to alleviate it. He created two homes for poor and abandoned children. During the Spanish Civil War, he labored to prevent detention and sentences of hard labor for people in Jumilla. He died on April 20, 1978. His diocese has concluded its investigation into whether Fr. Juan lived a life of heroic virtue.

Spiritual reading: For Jesus there are no countries to be conquered, no ideologies to be imposed, no people to be dominated. There are only children, women and men to be loved. (Fr. Henri Nouwen)


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