Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on August 7, 2013

Canaanite womanGospel reading of the day:

Matthew 15:21-28

At that time Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” But he did not say a word in answer to her. His disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.” He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that hour.

Reflection on the gospel reading: This passage from Matthew’s gospel is remarkable both for its portrayal of rudeness by Jesus and its presentation of his ability to change his mind. A Gentile petitions Jesus, who does not respond. When the woman persists in her plea, the Lord ends his rude silence only to insult her, comparing the woman to dogs. But the woman doesn’t take offense; in her single-minded concern for her daughter’s welfare, she turns the insult to her advantage with a docile, though clever, remark and continues to beg for the Lord’s help. In the end, Jesus changes his mind and gives the woman what she wants. In different passages in the gospels, like the parable of the unjust judge who relents to the pleas of the persistent widow, Jesus teaches us to pray and not give up. Jesus believed–and demonstrated–that God does do for us when we ask, what God would not have done if we had not asked.

Saint of the day: Edmund Bojanowski was born in the small village of Grabonóg, Poland, in November 1814 to a noble Polish family. His parents, Walenty Bojanowski and Teresa Umińska, were practicing Catholics who helped to form Edmund’s deep religious convictions at an early age. At the age of four, Edmund became ill and appeared to die, only to appear to come to life a short while later. His parents considered this a form of miraculous healing based on their prayers. On his recovery, he vowed to dedicate his life to the Virgin Mary. Edmund continued to Edmund Bojanowskisuffer ill health throughout his lifetime. Because of this he could not attend school and had to be tutored at home. At the age of 20 he developed tuberculosis. He later continued his studies at the University of Wrocław and in Berlin, Germany. He was, however, too frail at this time to study for the priesthood, a vocation that he would attempt later in life.

His interest in people led him to collect stories, songs, and proverbs from the rural countryside and publish them in “The Friend of the People.” With respect to his moral and religious views, he became involved in providing books for schools, establishing libraries, and orphanages for poor children. During the cholera epidemic of 1848-1849 he attended the sick, helping to medicate and comfort them. And, because of the sickness he saw around him, he helped organize the hospital, House of Mercy.

Because of what he saw as a need to serve the poor, Bojanowski was able to found an order of nuns, called the congregation of the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mother of God. This later led to the creation of the separate orders of the congregation of the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Conception in Poznań, Przemyśl, Wrocław, and Dębica. In 1867 Bojanowski authorized the founding of the Congregation of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God headed by Frances Margaret Taylor in England.

mosaic_jesusDuring the last years of his life, Bojanowski studied for the priesthood; however, his health continued to deteriorate, and he died August 7, 1871 in Górka Duchowna without becoming ordained as a priest. He was beatified in 1999.

Spiritual reading: Lord, lock me up in the deepest depths of your heart; and then, holding me there, burn me, purify me, set me on fire, sublimate me, till I become utterly what you would have me to be, through the utter annihilation of my ego. (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.)


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