Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on June 12, 2013

fdfbc78549537a3efe2e04db7f41ebb5_w600Gospel reading of the day:

Matthew 5:17-19

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: For the women and men who listened to Jesus, his lessons must have seemed like a break with the Jewish tradition. Apparently, the disciples must have asked him a question about whether that was true, because Jesus describes for them how his teaching fits into the overall scope of the Mosaic Law. We know without question that Jesus was not scrupulous about certain of his contemporaries’ practices; for instance, he found exceptions for the sabbath rest and was not rigorous in adhering to the rules for purification. Though Jesus says he hasn’t abolished the smallest letter of the law, his teaching and behavior appear to contradicts this assertion. Something else–something with richer meaning–then must be going on.

Jesus calls us to deeper experiences than mere practice. Practice, of course, is important, not only because what we believe influences what we do but also because what we do shapes what we believe. But practice devoid of heart is contrary to the whole message of Jesus, who prefers that we either be all in or all out than be ambivalent and indifferent. When Jesus says he is the fulfillment of the law and condemns people who break even the least commandment, he is calling on our hearts of stone to become hearts of flesh. He is calling on us to let the gospel course through our veins and radiate from our inner selves out into the world. The Law will never be fulfilled unto we become men and women who live lives marked by the dearest freshness deep down things.

Saint of the day: The Servant of God René Giraudet was born in France on December 4, 1907. Having prepared to serve as a missionary, ill health after his ordination as a deacon led doctors to suggest he ought not to serve as a missionary. He was ordained a priest on December 19, 1931 in Paris.

He was appointed vicar of Saint-Hilaire-de-Loulay March 5, 1932. He became the parish priest of Saint-Hilaire-du-Bois on January 24, 1942. To the constant refusal of the German authorities to Rene-Giraudetauthorize the creation of an official in Germany Chaplaincy French workers, Father Rodhain, Chaplain General of Prisoners of War, with the consent and encouragement the French episcopacy, called for volunteers to go to Germany as illegal worker-priests who clandestinely served French Catholics forced into labor in Germany.

René Giraudet saw here the possible realization of his missionary dream and on Holy Thursday April 22, 1943, the “chemist” Giraudet moved to Berlin where he was welcomed by the Father Bousquet, who was a secret priest who had arrived in January, and officials Catholic Action movement. Father Giraudet took charge of those whom illness had brought to the hospital. There, the young men were very touched by this older friend who took care of them. When Father Giraudet saw a well-disposed soul, he told him in a whisper, “Listen, my friend, I am a priest. Keep the secret!” The response would be astonishment, but great joy also, and conversation would become closer. During the week, he sat on a public bench to hear confessions, and entered a telephone booth to give Eucharistic Communion. On Sundays he organized trips into the woods surrounding Berlin to preach little retreats and to celebrate the Mass for seminarians, scouts, and Young Christian Worker members. He devoted himself to all these activities, in spite of fatigue from the factory work and the racket of the night bombardments.

After the arrest and deportation of Fr. Bousquet, Fr. Giraudet became the General Chaplain of the movement, but a wave of arrests occurred between February and August 1944. Arrested on June 12 and after four months in prison, René Giraudet was sent to Sachsenhausen where he found most of the arrested Catholic activists with whom he had worked. Subsequently, we was sent to Bergen-Belsen. This camp was ravaged by typhus, and Fr. Giraudet, already suffering from tuberculosis, also contracted typhys. After the liberation of the camp by the British April 15, 1945 and when his health permitted, Fr. Giraudet returned to France. He arrived in Paris on June 11th and was hospitalized at Kremlin-Bicêtre. The next day, June 12th, he received Holy Communion and died peacefully shortly thereafter, at the age of 38. After a wake and a solemn funeral at Les Invalides, presided over by Cardinal Suhard, the archbishop of Paris, Father Giraudet’s body was received in his 679_10201114584377715_950711262_nparish by great crowds. Funeral services, presided over by Bishop Cazaux, were celebrated there on June 18th, followed by interment in the cemetery in Chantonnay. Father Giraudet belongs to a group of fifty-some priests, religious, seminarians, Catholic youth organization members, and scouts, all victims of Nazism, whose cause for canonization as martyrs of the faith was introduced in 1988.

Spiritual reading: Clericalism will be eliminated only by fostering a deeper sense of the meaning of the church; that understanding of the nature of the church will come not from media strategies or simply by structural reforms, but by genuine renewal in what faith in Jesus Christ is about. If we focus only on structures and power, there is a risk that clericalism might be replaced by neo-clericalism. The Christian presence in society is not achieved by the imposition of a manifesto or simply by high-profile social criticism. It is more about the witness people give to Christian principles, mediated within the particular responsibilities they carry. (Archbishop Diarmuid Martin)


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