Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on May 4, 2013

jesus-turin-web4Gospel reading of the day:

John 15:18-21

Jesus said to his disciples: “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Choosing the Lord means casting our lot with him: Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians called us to put on the mind of Christ. Choosing Jesus means seeing as Jesus sees, hearing as Jesus hears, feeling as Jesus feels, thinking as Jesus thinks, acting as Jesus acts. It is throwing our lot in with his lot. It is being authentic as he is authentic. It is being open to the good and bad as he was open to the good and bad. It is the recognition that if Jesus suffered, we too must be willing to suffer. It is the recognition that if Jesus loves, we too must be willing to love–despite every cost.

Saint of the day: Blessed Ceferino Gimenez Malla, known as “El Pele” was born a Gypsy in Fraga, Huesca, Spain, probably on August 26, 1861, and a Gypsy he remained. He chose Teresa Gimenez Castro a Gypsy from Lerida as his wife and settled with her in Barbastro. In 1912 he regularized this Gypsy-style union and became a model Christian. He had no children but adopted one of pele1his wife’s nieces, whose descendants are still living. He was a flourishing horse dealer with a respectable position in society and ever ready to give generously to the poor. Unjustly accused of theft and imprisoned, he was finally declared innocent: the lawyer for his defense announced: “El Pele is not a thief, he is San Ceferino, patron of Gypsies.”

In his dealings, he never cheated anyone. Held in great esteem, El Pele was frequently sought by Gypsies to help them solve the conflicts which sometimes flared up between them. His reputation for charity and piety was widespread and although he was illiterate, educated people esteemed him for his honesty and his wisdom. He taught Christianity to both Romani and ethnic Spanish children. After his wife had died, Giménez Malla began a career as a catechist under the guidance of a priest-teacher, Don Nicholas Santos de Otto. Malla also resolved disputes between Romani and Spanish people. According to Romani tradition, he also used to feed poor children. In 1926, he became a member of the Franciscan Third order, and, five years later, he took part in “Night Adoration.”

At the start of the Spanish Civil war, at the end of July 1938, he was arrested for trying to defend a priest who was being dragged through the streets of Barbastro, and for keeping a rosary in his pocket. He was offered freedom if he would stop reciting the Rosary. He preferred to stay in prison and face martyrdom. He was shot at dawn on August 8, 1936, against the walls of Barbastro cemetery. He died clutching his Rosary and crying: “Long live Christ the King!” His body was never found. He was beatified on May 4, 1997, which is the day the church keeps his memorial.

535979_570689429609027_1040506460_nSpiritual reading: God leaves us free to be whatever we like. We can be ourselves or not, as we please. We are at liberty to be real or to be unreal. We may be true or false. The choice is ours. We may wear now one mask and then another, and never, if we so desire, appear with our own true face. But we cannot make these changes with impunity. Causes have effects, and if we lie to ourselves and others, then we cannot expect to find truth and reality whenever we happen to want them. If we have chosen the way of falsity, we must not be surprised that truth eludes us when we finally come to need it! (Thomas Merton)


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