Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on May 2, 2013

Christ Pantocrator on tile WindowIntoHeaven Anna Edelman sGospel reading of the day:

John 15:9-11

Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Jesus gives a command and makes a promise in this gospel passage. He asks us here to remain in his love. If we love, take care of the less fortunate, live authentically, and seek the good for each other, Jesus promises us that a return of his love for us will accompany our commitment, just as a return of the Father’s love for Jesus has accompanied Jesus’ commitment to the Father’s commandment. The Kingdom is never just about me, but it always about me living authentically and generously in the company of others.

Saint of the day: José María Rubio y Peralta was born on July 22, 1864 in Dalías, Spain. His parents were farmers and he was one of 12 children, six of whom died at a young age. In 1875 he began his secondary schooling in Almeria. Feeling a call to the priesthood, he transferred to the diocesan minor seminary in 1876 to continue his studies. In 1878 he moved to the major seminary of Granada, where he completed studies in philosophy, theology and canon law. On September 24, 1887, he was ordained a priest.

At this time, he also felt called to join the Society of Jesus (commonly known as the Jesuits) but because he was taking care of an elderly priest who needed to be looked after, he was not able to fulfill his wish for 19 years.

In the years following his ordination, Jose Maria was busy as a curate in Chinchón and then as parish priest in Estremera. In 1890, the bishop called him to Madrid, where he was given the responsibility of synodal examiner. He also taught metaphysics, Latin, and pastoral theology at the seminary in Madrid and was chaplain to the Sisters of St Bernard.

In 1905, he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and, in the following year, entered the Jesuit novitiate in Granada. On October 12, 1908 he made his first vows as a Jesuit.

Jose Maria was an outstanding pastor and nurtured by a deep spiritual life. The Bishop of Madrid called him “The Apostle of Madrid.” He was the city’s favorite confessor, spending long hours each day giving direction. He was known for his incisive, simple preaching that moved many to conversion. He also had particular devotion to the poor, always providing them with the material and spiritual assistance they needed. Through his preaching and spiritual direction, Jose Maria was also able to attract and guide many lay people who wanted to live a more authentic Christian life and to help him in his mission of helping the poor. Under his guidance, they opened tuition-free schools which offered academic formation as well as instruction in various trades. They also assisted the sick and disabled and tried to find work for the unemployed.

Although Jose Maria was the inspiration for all these works, he remained in the background, preferring to let his helpers take center stage. He gave them the main responsibility and taught them to live and act like true apostles of the Lord. Jose Maria also organized popular missions and spiritual exercises in the poorest areas of the city. He believed that the poor should be helped in all their needs – both spiritual and material and that they were to be encouraged and loved in a way that fully respected their human dignity.

The most important aspect of the apostolate for Jose Maria was prayer. Adoration of the Lord Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament was the center of his entire life. And it was the love of Christ that Jose Maria wanted to share with the poor. For him and his helpers, prayer came first, and it was through their prayer life that they received the strength to serve in the poorest and most abandoned areas of Madrid. Fr. José María Rubio died on 2 May 1929 in Aranjuez. He was canonized in 2003.

Spiritual reading: Love is the affinity which links and draws together the elements of the world… Love, in fact, is the agent of universal synthesis. (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.)


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