Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on August 29, 2013

8e095f02180d4c6b044fc3249d5af2f0_w600Gospel reading of the day:

Matthew 24:42-51

Jesus said to his disciples: “Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so. Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with drunkards, the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: This reading from Jesus’ sermon about the last things suggests that the Lord is coming at a time we cannot know and that the wise policy is to live our lives in anticipation of the day and hour of the Lord’s return, a time that is hidden from us. There are different ways to learn from this passage. Of course, we can understand this reading in the context of the Lord’s second coming at the end of time, but isn’t one of the lessons of Christian life that the Lord is ever at hand. Living our lives in anticipation of Jesus’ return is not just living for the end. It is also living for the moment, for we know from our experience that the Lord is in our midst at every instant. Lives lived in courteousness, kindness, justice, and love are lives lived not to encounter the Lord at some remote hour but to open ourselves to find him right here, right now.

Saint of the day: Blessed Euphrasia of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, C.M.C., was an east Indian Carmelite Religious Sister of the Syro-Malabar Church, one of the uniate churches. She was born Rosa Eluvathingal on October 7, 1877, in the village of Kattoor, near the city of Thrissur in Kerala, India. Her parents were Cherpukaran Antony and Kunjethy Eluvathingal, who were wealthy landowners. She was baptized on October 25, 1877 in the Mother of Carmel Church in Edathuruthy Her mother was a devout Catholic, who taught her to pray the rosary and to participate in the Mass. From the stories that her mother told her, especially about St. Rose of Lima, after whom she had been named, Rose grew up with a strong desire to practice a virtuous life, to suffer Blessed Euphrasia of the Sacred Heart of Jesusfor Jesus, and to be holy, and to do all this in a quiet, hidden manner. This all took deeper root when, at the age of nine, Rose experienced an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which led her to make a commitment never to marry, and to commit her entire life to God.

As she grew older, Rose desired to enter the Sisters of the Mother of Carmel, the first indigenous congregation of Religious Sisters in the Syro-Malabar Church, who follow the Rule of the Third Order of the Discalced Carmelites. She was opposed in this by her father, however, who wanted to arrange a marriage for her with the son of some of the other prosperous families in the region. She spent the next two years in prayer, fasting and acts of penance, to the degree that she was seriously ill for much of this period. Seeing her resolve, her father finally relented, and himself accompanied her to the convent.

Rose entered the Carmelites in 1888 at their convent in Koonammavu, at the age of ten. When she reached her maturity, she was received as a postulant in 1897, taking the name Sister Euphrasia of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and was admitted to the novitiate of the congregation in January 1898. The constant ill health she experienced, however, threatened her life in the convent, as the Superiors considered dismissing her because of it. Sister Euphrasia soon had a vision of the Holy Family, at which point the illness she had long felt ceased. Sister Euphrasia made her solemn profession in May 1900. She was appointed as the Novice Mistress of the congregation in 1904 and served in this position until 1913, addressed as Mother Euphrasia. She was appointed Superior of the Sisters’ convent in Ollur in 1913, where she was to live the rest of her life, serving as Mother Superior until 1916. Despite these duties, she endeavored to lead a life of constant prayer and of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, constantly trying to atone for the sins committed against him, becoming known by many people as the “Praying Mother.” Mother Euphrasia spent much of her day in the convent chapel before the Blessed Sacrament, to which she had a strong devotion. She also nourished a great love and devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary, as a result of which, she would promote devotion to the Eucharist and to the Rosary to all those with whom she came into contact. Mother Euphrasia died on August 29, 1952 in Ollur, Thrissur, Kerala, India of natural causes. She was beatified in 2006.

Spiritual reading: A saint is not someone who is good but who experiences the goodness of God. (Thomas Merton)

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