Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on August 27, 2013

fbc8b7ca5712f24ea22daf41852763fd_w600Gospel reading of the day:

Matthew 23:23-26

Jesus said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. But these you should have done, without neglecting the others. Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Spiritual practices can sometimes have the appearance of performance art. Jesus doesn’t hold back on his expression of disgust at scrupulous religion which is only skin deep. But Jesus in this gospel passage does not counsel abandonment of the exterior practices. I think it’s because Jesus understood that we are what we do. A spirituality which is disembodied, that is, a spirituality which does not include outward physical actions, is hard to maintain. There is no unmediated experience of the divine, and as embodied beings we need to cultivate an embodied spirituality. It is worth noting that Jesus does not condemn a heartfelt attention to the rigors of religious practice. But what he does ask of us is that whatever our external practices, we pay the greatest heed to the demands of justice, love, and integrity. Religious activities without interiority are lifeless, but spiritual intentions not realized in physical signs are phantasms.

Saint of the day: Son of an Argentine of German descent, Sara Altgelt Tornquist, and Alexander Shaw, of Scottish descent, the Servant of God Enrique Shaw was born in Paris on February 26, 1921. In 1923, his family returned to the country of origin. His mother died when Enrique was four, but her husband realized Sara’s wish for his religious upbringing. Enrique studied shaw5at the Colegio de La Salle in the city of Buenos Aires, where he was an outstanding student. In early 1936, he entered the Naval Academy despite initial opposition from her father, who wanted him to prepare to run the family business. He was among the best students in his the Academy and was Argentina’s youngest Academy graduate to become a Navy officer.

From a young age he began reading all kinds of books, especially in economics, politics, philosophy, history, and science. In late summer 1939 in the library of the Ocean of Mar del Plata, he found by chance a book by Cardinal Suhard on the role and responsibilities of Christian life. There he encountered for the first time the social doctrine of the Church and experienced a deep conviction about what should be his way of life. He always called it his “final conversion.”

He left the Navy with the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade and, back in Argentina, joined as executive of Rigolleau Cristalerías. In a short time he became Director General. During those years, he was forming a spirituality related to his vocation of Christian businessman. He joined the Catholic Action and the Christian Family Movement. He married Cecilia Bunge in 1943. In 1945 he was EnriqueShawsent by the Navy to the Chicago State University in the United States to study meteorology. But it was in that year, when his family was established and growing, he finally realized that God asked him for specific ministry; a priest, seeing his profile, persuaded him to carry the gospel to the businesses that belonged to his family.

In 1946 the bishops sought to create an active organization for entrepreneurs to grow in Christian commitment. In 1952, Enrique founded the Christian Association of Business Executives and served as its first president. An intense evangelization aimed at entrepreneurs in Argentina as the result of it ensured. In 1957, cancer was discovered. Thereafter, Enrique began to fight the disease, but this did not prevent him from giving conferences and lectures, editing publications, and preparing his diary and many manuscripts. In 1958, he helped create the Catholic University of Argentina and became a member of the first Board of Directors. He participated in the founding of Caritas and the Serra Club. He also became president of Catholic Action. His increasingly fragile health deteriorated in 1962, but he maintained to the end his work as a business leader. He died on August 27, 1962 at age 41. The investigation into whether his virtues were heroic commenced in 2001.

Spiritual reading: Jesus will say over and over again in his encounters with sinners and his disciples, “Today salvation has come to this house,” and the psalmist sings out, “This is the day the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice in it.” Today is this day, every day, any day.Today we can start. Today everything can start. There is only today with God. (Megan McKenna)


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