Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on May 9, 2013

christ-in-the-wilderness-awakingGospel reading of the day:

John 16:16-20

Jesus said to his disciples: “A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me.” So some of his disciples said to one another, “What does this mean that he is saying to us, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” So they said, “What is this ‘little while’ of which he speaks? We do not know what he means.” Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Are you discussing with one another what I said, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Jesus, in his discourse at the Last Supper, warns the disciples that they are about to be disappointed. The disciples had clear expectations about what they thought the messiah would be, and Jesus was about to disappoint them as he endured his passion. Even so, Jesus promises his disciples that their sorrow will turn to joy. Jesus’ promise to his followers on the night before he died is his promise to us now. We shall taste tears: this is true. But Jesus promises us that our tears in the end will become joy. We simply must trust and wait on the Lord.

Saint of the day: Martha Maria de Jesus, was born in Mexico City on June 23, 1914. She was baptized on July 19 of that year and confirmed on February 20, 1916. The eldest of 11 children, her parents were Don Alfredo Christlieb Rapp and Ms. Paula Ibarrola Vértiz. In January 1922 she started school. Always inclined even at young age to a simple piety, she made her First Communion on June 15 of that year. In the last year of high school, she met Father Edmundo Iturbide, M.Sp.S., who became her spiritual director for most of the rest of her life.

alegria2She entered the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1938 to study pharmaceutical chemistry. During this period, she felt a strong desire to enter a religious order, but her father opposed her wish. She finished her degree, but she was determined to enter religious life whether or not her parents approved. She entered novitiate in 1942 and made her first vows on Christmas Day in 1943. She rapidly received positions of increasing responsibility, starting as a teacher, becoming a superior in 1946, director of novices in 1948, and becoming Vicar General in 1950. Disagreements in her congregation led Martha and others of the sisters to break off and found a new congregation, the Family of the Cross. In the first few months of 1952, the bishop of Veracruz invited the women to come to his diocese to serve there where the group took the name, Sisters of the True Cross, Daughters of the Church, with Mother Martha and her spiritual director, Father Iturbide as the co-founders. The congregation received formal approval in 1960, and Mother Martha became its first Superior General. She served in this position until her death.

In 1974, her health declined as the result of cancer. She underwent the prescribed treatment. When she returned to the convent at the end of the year, she learned as she left Mass that her beloved spiritual director from the time of her youth, Father Iturbide, had died. Mother Martha followed him a few months later when she died of cancer on May 9, 1975. The bishop of Orizaba opened an investigation into her life to study her virtues in January 2003.

Spiritual reading: Everyone of us is shadowed by an illusory person: a false self. This is the person I want myself to be but who cannot exist because God does not know anything about that person. To be unknown of God is altogether too much privacy… The secret of my identity is hidden in the love and mercy of God. (Thomas Merton)


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