Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on June 10, 2013

85e13ea38dd7d7751139dcef132968ad_w600Gospel reading of the day:

Matthew 5:1-12

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: The Sermon on the Mount, three chapters in the gospel of Matthew which crystallize Jesus’ teaching, starts with the Beatitudes, which outlines the pattern of life that Jesus presents as the call of Christians. In the Beatitudes, Jesus calls us to lives of gentleness, justice, compassion, and clear sightedness. Moreover, the Beatitudes reassure us that all of our conditions of material, psychological, and spiritual deprivation are blessings–not curses. When we have cause to mourn, we also have the grace to know that others love us as they comfort us in our mourning. When we are persecuted for our witness, we have the blessing of have our exterior and interior lives in harmony with one another. Poverty, vulnerability, gentleness, justice, mercy, dedication, harmony, conviction, and witness characterize the live of Jesus’ followers.

Saint of the day: Edward Joannes Maria Poppe was born in Temse in 1890 as the third child and eldest son of a baker. He studied at the college of Sint-Niklaas from 1905 until 1910, where he was a member of De Klauwaerts, a Flemish student association in the Flemish Movement of before World War I.

PoppeAlthough his father died in 1907, he was able to continue his studies and to go to the seminary in 1910 to become a priest. He studied Thomism at the Catholic University of Louvain. Influenced by the works of Louis de Montfort, he became devoted to the Blessed Mother. In 1913, he moved to the Great Seminar of Ghent, where he became a member of Filioli Caritatis, a group of young priests aiming for priestly sanctity.

When the war started in 1914, Poppe was called to arms, but fell sick in Bourlers, part of Chimay. After strengthening again in Temse, he went to the seminar of Mechelen, which stayed open. Finally, on May 1, 1916, he was ordained a priest. His motto was “Accendatur” – “May the fire be kindled,” referring to Luke 12:49.

Poppe became the parish associate pastor in Sint-Coleta, a poor laborers’ parish in Ghent. He started a communion bond for the youngest children, introducing them to many aspects of Christianity. Poppe also chose to live in severe poverty and to be like one of his parishers.

Poppe 2Exhausted, due to his way of living and his weak health, he was transferred to a monastery in Moerzeke. Mostly confined to his bed, he wrote numerous texts for the “Eucharistische Kruistocht” (“Eucharistic Crusade”) of the Averbode Abbey, often appearing in the popular youth magazine Zonneland.

When his health slightly improved, he was appointed as spiritual leader of the military school in Leopoldsburg in 1922. A cardiac crisis in 1923, when visiting his mother with Christmas, made it impossible for him to return to Leopoldsburg, and he again was confined to the monastery of Moerzeke. He died there on June 10, 1924.

Spiritual reading: It is only because he became like us that we can become like him. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)


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