Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on September 4, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 4:38-44

After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon. Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever, and they interceded with him about her. He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and waited on them.

peters-mother-in-lawAt sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him. He laid his hands on each of them and cured them. And demons also came out from many, shouting, “You are the Son of God.” But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ.

At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place. The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him, they tried to prevent him from leaving them. But he said to them, “To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.” And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

Reflection on the gospel reading: Service, compassion, teaching, and prayer lie at the heart of Jesus’ ministry and, hence, at the heart of our Christian vocation. Today’s gospel opens with Jesus leaving the synagogue and is punctuated near its close with Jesus going off to a deserted place to pray. In the midst of his prayer, Jesus heals not only the mother-in-law of his friend but also those who are troubled in body and mind. In another witness to service, Jesus’ mother-in-law does not grumble about her lot but, as soon as she is able, rises to serve others. The passage tells us that Jesus makes haste to go and spread the good news to the surrounding communities. Today’s gospel instructs us to be available in service and compassion to the people that God puts in our paths, to teach to one another what God has revealed to us, and to find our deepest sustenance in prayerful communion with God as we give ourselves to our daily lives.

Saint of the day: The Servant of God Vincent Capodanno was born on February 13th, 1929, in Staten Island, New York. After attending a year at Fordham University, he entered the Maryknoll Missionary seminary in upstate New York in 1949. The Maryknolls were well known for sending American missionaries overseas–especially to China and Korea. As the communists overran China, many Maryknoll priests and bishops were imprisoned and tortured.

capodanno_fieldWhen Capodanno finished the seminary, he was ordained a priest and received his bachelor’s degree in religious instruction. Father Capodanno’s first assignment was with aboriginal Taiwanese in the mountains of Taiwan where he served in a parish and later in a school. After seven years, Father Capodanno returned to the United States for leave and then was assigned to a Maryknoll school in Hong Kong. Looking for a different challenge, Father Capodanno requested a new assignment–as a United States Navy Chaplain serving with the U.S. Marines. After finishing officer candidate’s school, Father Capodanno reported to the 7th Marines, in Vietnam, in 1966. When his tour was complete, he requested an extension, served in the naval hospital and then reported to the 5th Marines. He gained a reputation for always being there–for always taking care of his Marines.

At 4:30 am, September 4th, 1967, in the Thang Binh District of the Que-Son Valley, elements of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines found the large North Vietnamese Unit, with about 2,500 men, near the village of Dong Son. Operation Swift was underway. The out-numbered and disorganized Company D was in need of reinforcements. By 9:14 AM, 26 Marines were confirmed dead. The situation was in doubt and another Company of Marines was committed to the battle. At 9:25 am, the 1st Battalion 5th Marine Commander requested assistance of two company’s of the 3rd Battalion 5th Marines, “M”and capodanno“K” Company. During those early hours, Chaplain Capodanno received word of the battle taking place. He sat in on the morning briefing at the 3rd Battalion’s Combat Operations Center. He took notes and listened to the radio reports coming in. As the elements of Company “M” and “K” prepared to load the helicopters. “Fr.Vince” requested to go with them. His Marines needed him. “It’s not going to be easy” he stated. As Company “M” approached the small village of Chau Lam, the North Vietnamese opened up on the 2nd Platoon, which was caught on a small knoll, out in the open. The fighting was fierce, hand to hand at times, and the platoon was in danger of being overrun. Father Capodanno went among the wounded and dying, giving last rites and taking care of his Marines. Wounded once in the face and suffering another wound that almost severed his hand, Father Capodanno moved to help a wounded corpsman only yards from an enemy machinegun. Father Capodanno died taking care of one of the men.

On December 27, 1968, then Secretary of the Navy Paul Ignatius notified the Capodanno family that Fr. Vincent would posthumously be awarded the Medal of Honor in recognition of his selfless sacrifice. The official ceremony was held January 7, 1969. On May 21, 2006, thirty-nine years after his death on the battlefield of Vietnam, Capodanno was publicly declared Servant of God as his cause for beatification opened up.

Spiritual reading: The real enemies of our life are the ‘oughts’ and the ‘ifs.’ They pull us backward into the unalterable past and forward into the unpredictable future. (Henri Nouwen)


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