Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on August 31, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

Matthew 25:14-30

Jesus told his disciples this parable: “A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my 99dd9b7e5a97ea908b72a9e1099d47a8_w600good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’ His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Being a follower of Jesus is not a passive activity: whatever God may initiate in our lives, we have to actively pursue the kingdom in the choices we make from day to day and moment to moment. Jesus says in this passage that Christian life is not just letting God happen to us: if we do nothing, we will reap nothing. The message of the first two servants’ experience is that we must live the kingdom’s values, and the account of their actions and what happened as a result of them is an assurance that living a kingdom life will lead to rewards. The experience of the third servant is perhaps the experience of the one who at the end of the Sermon on the Mount cries out, “Lord, Lord.” This third servant certainly believed in his Lord’s power, but he still did nothing, and his failure to live out the vocation his Master had given him–“to do the will of the Father,” as Jesus puts it in the Sermon on the Mount–ended in disaster for him. God does not demand that we succeed, but God does demand that we act.

Saint of the Day: The Servant of God Marcello Candia was the third of five brothers, born on July 27, 1916 near Naples, Italy in a rich family from Milan. Marcello’s father had many industrial factories in Naples, Pisa, and other cities. Marcello’s father was not a very devout believer. He was a very honest and hard-working man and loved his wife (a very devout Catholic) very tenderly. Marcello was very close to his mother. From her mother Marcello inherited a simple but staunch faith combined to a great love and solidarity for the needy and faithfulness to prayer. Marcello’s mother died in 1933, at the age of 42 when Marcello was 17.

marcello_candia_4Marcello was a very bright student at Pavia University, where at 23, he graduated in Chemistry. He continued his studies and got a degree in Pharmacy and Biology as well. In 1943, Marcello met the Franciscan Capuchins in Milan, who led him to social activities in support of the needy. In 1950, Marcello met two Italian missionaries from Brazil, who greatly influenced him: a Capuchin Father Beretta and a PIME Father Pirovano, the future bishop of Macapa, Brazil. These two missionaries opened Marcello’s eyes to the needs of the poor and sick in Brazil. Marcello decided to work with Fr. Pirovano. He started making his first contacts and made several trips to the Amazon region to have a first look at the candiaplace where he would live as a missionary. But that same year, Marcello’s father died and he was left with the heavy responsibility of conducting the huge family business. His missionary dream had to be postponed. On the night of August 22, 1955, another tragedy seemed to shatter definitely his dream. A huge fire destroyed his factory and caused immense damage to the adjacent area. Marcello had to deal with hundreds of legal implications and had to start all over again to rebuild the industry, make it running properly before he could leave for Macapa.

It was only in 1965 that Marcello could make the final decision of selling everything and going to Macapa (against the advice of most of his friends). Once on Brazilian soil, Marcello had to face many difficulties. marcello_candia_0His best friend and supporter, Bishop A. Pirovano was no longer in Brazil; he had been called back to Italy. Many missionaries did not understand Marcello’s plans. At 50, he found it very hard to learn Portuguese. Even some local government officials became suspicious of the intentions of this Italian business man. He was even accused of mishandling money. Among all sorts of misundarstandings, Marcello began putting all his energies, talents and wealth at creating his immense web of works of mercy: first a huge hospital at Macapa, then a Leprosy Center at Marituba, followed by 14 other centers and two Carmelite convents for contemplative prayer.

Marcello’s health deteriorated quickly. In 1967 suffered a first heart attack, followed by four more. Finally, Marcello Candia died, not of heart attack but of cancer, on August 31, 1983 in a hospital in Milano. His cause was introduced in 1990, and the formal investigation into his virtues was completed and turned over to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints in 1998.

Spiritual reading: God is a being beyond being. This is why Saint Augustine says that the most beautiful thing which a person can say about God consists in that person’s being silent from the wisdom of an inner wealth. So be silent and do not flap your gums about God. Nor should you want to know anything about God, for God is above all knowledge. (Meister Eckhart)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: