Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on August 16, 2013

icon-of-the-savior-from-the-village-of-horodyshche-in-volhynia-late-17th-century.jpg!BlogGospel reading of the day:

Matthew 19:3-12

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?” He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.” They said to him, “Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?” He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery.” His disciples said to him, “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” He answered, “Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: When the Pharisees come to Jesus, they present a question which invites a simple answer: Is it lawful to do this? Jesus, however, answers neither yes nor no. Instead, he poses a case to them, which leads to another question and another answer. By the end, it appears Jesus has confused his disciples, because they suggest a proposition which Jesus subsequently rejects. Questions like, “Is this permitted or not?” are appealing to all of us: life with a rulebook doesn’t demand a lot of thought or prayer from us. Abstractions are easier to encapsulate than reality. But Jesus recognized that human existence is chock-a-block with ambiguities and mercilessly complex. For these reasons, we must think, and we must pray.

Saint of the day: Maria del Carmen Sojo Ballester was born into a very religious Catholic family on October 15, 1856 in Reus, Catalan, Spain. Growing up, she cared for the elderly and young and worked at the Hospital of the Sisters of the Poor in Reus. There he met George Anguera, a doctor; when she was just sixteen and he was 31, she married him May 13, 1872, she Carmen_de_sojomarried him, and went with him went to Barcelona. Though they had no children during their first four years of marriage, they eventually five children (though two the children died while they were infants) and dedicated time to their Christian education, in prayer and charitable works, building an asylum for the poor. Her husband was also very religious, often attending poor patients free of charge and spending significant time with them. Because of this, Carmen had to take care with the family budget at home. Carmen suffered poor health that required her to be away from home in sanatoriums. When gone, she wrote daily letters to her husband, preserved in their entirety that provide evidence of her great love for her husband. Her correspondence to parents, friends, and confessors attest to Carmen’s extraordinary faith. She was very humble and did regular penance. She became a member of the Carmelite Third Order Secular. In 1884 he vowed to share the sufferings of Christ. She died in Barcelona in 1890. She has been considered since 1926 a Servant of God whose cause for beatification is under investigation.

Spiritual reading: God knows what is my greatest happiness, but I do not. There is no rule about what is happy and good; what suits one would not suit another…the medicines necessary for our souls are very different from each other. Thus God leads by strange ways. . . . Let us put ourselves into God’s hands and not be startled even though God leads us by a strange way. . . . Let us be sure God will lead us right and will bring us to that which is, indeed, not what we think best, nor what is best for another, but what is best for us. (Blessed John Henry Newman)


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