Carry the gospel with you

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

769934b027a51f3cac20be9d4a0238f9_w600Gospel reading of the day:

Matthew 19:13-15

Children were brought to Jesus that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” After he placed his hands on them, he went away.

Reflection on the gospel reading: This story appears in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Though Mark and Luke recount that Jesus touches the children, only Matthew tells us he lays hands on them and prays over them. Matthew’s gloss is important, because the laying on of hands in prayer in both the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament is a sign of giving the Holy Spirit and dedicating people to mission. For example, Moses lays hands on Joshua, who is through this sign “filled with the spirit of wisdom;” in the Acts of the Apostle, Peter and John lay their hands on converts to give them the gift of the Spirit; and when the apostles choose seven deacons to serve the community, they lay hands on them to dedicate them to service.

When Jesus lays his hands on the children and prays over them, he is implicitly calling the Holy Spirit upon them and commissioning these little ones. Jesus elsewhere in the gospel tells us what their mission is: they are to witness to us. The children are the ones who sit in the marketplace and fearlessly and unselfconsciously tell us hard truths about our inability to live authentically: We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn. Because of children’s prophetic nature, Jesus tells his disciples that we are to become like them if we are to enter the kingdom of heaven. If we are to follow Jesus, we must become true in our lives and witness, for it is these truth tellers–these children–who behave as they say they believe and are the ones whom Jesus calls to himself.

Saint of the day: The Servant of God Vinicio Bonifacio Dalla Vecchia was born on February 23, 1924 in Perarolo di Vigonza, Padua, Italy. At the end of elementary school he attended a vocational school to study agriculture. During the period of his studies, Vinicio made a commitment to his parish and diocese, becoming in 1939 secretary of the youth of Catholic vinicioAction of Perarolo, and in 1941, the president of the Italian youth component of Catholic Action. He graduated in 1943 and sought to continue his studies in the field, but the war forced him to leave school. In September 1943, he attended a course of spiritual exercises, which deeply influenced his spiritual life. From that time forward, Vinicio committed himself to charitable activities, Christian mission, and spirituality.

Dalla_VecchiaIn 1944, he decided to abandon agriculture and pursue a career in medicine. In 1945 he enrolled in a school of medicine and surgery at the University of Padua, where he graduated in 1951. He continued his participation in Catholic Action even during his medical studies and sought to bring his vision of Christian commitment to even his political activities. As a physician he practiced first as an assistant at the Institute of Medical Pathology at the University of Padua between 1951 and 1952 and later at the Institute of Occupational Medicine, where in 1953, he became a specialist in diseases of the respiratory system. On August 17, 1954 he died, along with his cousin, a Salesian priest, falling in a mountain climbing accident. The Diocese of Padua opened an investigation into his virtues in 2000.

Spiritual reading: If something uncharitable is said in your presence, either speak in favor of the absent, or withdraw, or if possible, stop the conversation. (John Vianney)


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