Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on June 17, 2013

f68c91ca3a703c101cc9546d0bc229d8_w600Gospel reading of the day:

Matthew 5:38-42

Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Jesus taught nonviolence. This passage in the gospel of Matthew makes that clear enough, and his entire life, particularly his behavior at his arrest and during his passion show that Jesus saw the way of nonviolence as fundamental to life in communion with God. Jesus teaches nonviolence, but he does not teach rolling over and playing dead. Rather, he encourages a way for those in a position of powerlessness to recover and retain their dignity when powerful people attempt to denigrate them. Each of the situations that this gospel passage describes requires an oppressor to make a choice. If I am hit, and I turn my cheek, the oppressor must choose whether to continue the assault. If someone wants to sue me for my possessions, and I offer to give more than he asks, the litigant has to negotiate with me as an equal about what he is willing to take. If someone compels my service for a mile, and I have no choice in the circumstance, reclaim my dignity at the end of the mile by giving them what they have no right to compel from me. Jesus does not teach us to be punching bags in the face of oppression. He instead teaches us to grab the moral initiative, confront violence with creativity and imagination, resist humiliation, seek the transformation of the oppressor, and claim our dignity as human persons.

Saint of the day: The Servant of God Lodovico Longari was born in Montodine, Italy in 1889. His parents, Antonio and Laura, had eleven children, three of whom became priests. He entered the seminary of his diocese, Crema, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1912.

LongariHe felt called to enter the novitiate of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. From 1915-1918 he served as a private attached to the Medical Corps at the front line. During the war, he often transformed his tent into a sanctuary of prayer and eucharistic adoration. His fellow soldiers were drawn to him by his goodness and love.
With his religious profession in 1920, he became an educator of young men called to religious life. He was called to the government of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, first as Provincial Superior, then as Superior General for 12 years.

He proved to be a man of kindness and gentleness in his dealings with others: he sought to make them understand and be convinced rather than simply issuing commands. He anticipated the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, employing a style of communion and openness. He loved his religious congregation as his family, and worked tirelessly for its development, extending it into a further 14 nations.

During the Second World War he preached in many different parts of the country. Fr. Longari was appreciated for his simplicity and warmth, and his fervent manner of expressing himself. Many priests found in him a most tender father and an enlightened counselor. He died on June 17, 1963. The Diocese of Bergamo in Italy opened his cause in 1990.

Spiritual reading: We should never postpone a good work, no matter how small it may be, with the thought of later doing something greater. It is a very common temptation of the enemy to be always placing before us the perfection of things to come and bring us to make little of the present. (Ignatius of Loyola)


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