Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on April 23, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

John 10:22-30

The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem. It was winter. And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me. But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: The Feast of the Dedication is Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. It is the celebration of the re-dedication of the second Temple after the revolt of the Maccabees, which at the time of the gospel passage recounted today was the most recent liberation of the Jewish people from foreign oppression. The gospel tells us that it was winter. Winter, of course, is a time of barrenness, when little grows, and life is hard, and we await the renewal of life in the distant spring.

It was into the world’s winter that Jesus came, but his presence in the world, analogous in a sense to the celebration of the Festival of Lights, was the liberation of his people–not just Israel in the strictest sense but all of us, the whole Church. It his presence in the winter of our lives which lights up our worlds and liberates us from the consequences of sin and death. The gospel tells us we can trust in this, because God is faithful.

blessed-teresa-maria-of-the-cross-01Saint of the day: Teresa Maria de la Cruz was born March 2, 1846, in Florence, Italy, and baptized with the name Teresa Adelaida Cesina Manetti. Her father died when she was a child. The loss stayed with her all her life and led her to devote her life to helping the poor and disadvantaged, especially orphans, whom she called her greatest treasure. In 1872, she and some girlfriends formed a small circle to educate young people in the Christian doctrine. On July 16, 1876, at the age of 30, she was admitted to the third order of the Carmelites and changed her name to Teresa Maria of the Cross. On July 12, 1888, she was among the first 27 nuns to take the habit of the Discalced Carmelites. The order was approved by on February 27, 1904, with the name Carmelite Tertiaries of Santa Teresa. Teresa Maria was always in poor health, physically and spiritually. She met with much resistance to her work with the poor, much slander about her personal life, and a long period of spiritual dryness, but all who met her commented on the air of joy and peace she brought to her work, and she often prayed to God to make her suffer more, to squeeze her to the last drop. Meanwhile, her caring knew no bounds: she would give anything to anyone, never thinking of herself. Teresa Maria died in Florence on April 3, 1910, while repeating: “Oh, my Jesus, if you want, make me suffer more. . . .” Then she cried ecstatically: “It’s open . . . I’m going!”

Spiritual reading: I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding. (John O’Donohue)


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