Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on September 11, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 6:20-26

Raising his eyes toward his disciples Jesus said:

“Blessed are you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours. Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man.

“Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way.

199269fed9a3b98b096adcafc84a15ba_w600“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. But woe to you who are filled now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will grieve and weep. Woe to you when all speak well of you, for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: The passage starts with the observation that Jesus was looking down before he spoke these beatitudes. Perhaps he was praying or deep in thought. Perhaps something had happened, and he was reflecting on it. Perhaps the disciples were discouraged by this event, whatever it was, and Jesus by looking in their eyes to tell them what makes a person blessed was consoling them for what they had just experienced. As they made their way with Jesus, they certainly suffered many deprivations, and it isn’t hard to imagine they might get discouraged at the lack a place to sleep, empty stomachs, and ridicule. Jesus is telling his disciples that things aren’t so bad: we can make it through even poverty, hunger, grief, and rejection knowing that God sees these things we suffer and feels compassion for us as we struggle. Indeed, it is our dependence on God from moment to moment which pleases God, a point Jesus emphasizes as he cautions his disciples that is is riches, a full belly, self-satisfaction, and false praise which are the things which really threaten us.

Saint of the day: Francesco (Checco) Bonifacio was born on September 7, 1912 in Pirano, Istria which was then part of Austria Hungary, later Italy, now is part of Slovenia. He was the son of Giovanni Bonifacio, a sailor in a Trieste and Istria sailing company, and of Luigia Busdon, a housewife. He was the second of seven children of a poor family. His father was away much of the time, and therefore the education of the family laid almost entirely his mother’s shoulders. Due to their poor income she was forced to take up a job as a cleaning Francesco (Checco) Bonifaciolady, into the wealthiest family houses. However the family lived in poverty with high dignity. He learned the fundamentals at the local elementary school of Pirano and, received Christian learning at the local parish of San Francesco where he had served as an altar boy.

Francesco heard the call of the faith very early and by 1924, at the age of 12, he was already in Capodistria’s seminary. He accepted the hard life of the seminary with great joy and submission to authority, and although there were some flaws in basic education, he managed to shine among his fellow seminaries for his high human qualities. This earned him the nickname of the Saint. He was ordained December 27, 1926. On July 13, 1939 he was appointed as the minister of Villa Gardossi or Crassizza (now Krasica), a small borough located in the Buiese area. War broke out in June 1940. German troops arrived around mid-September 1943 occupying key positions in the area. Don Franceso faced this new situation with great energy and extreme courage. When the war ended in 1945, Marshall Tito of Yugoslavia annexed Don Francesco’s area into the new Communist state. The government leveled false accusation against the priest who responded by holding open door meetings in the community defending the doctrine of the church. Don Francesco Bonifacio was likely killed by the regime on September 11, 1946, the same day he disappeared and his body was never recovered. He was seen alive for the last time around 4 p.m. by his confessor. A later reconstruction stated that he was stopped on his way back home by four “Popular Guards”, beaten to death and his body thrown into a gorge. He was beatified in 2008.

Spiritual reading: Forgiveness flounders because I exclude the enemy from the community of humans even as I exclude myself from the community of sinners. But no one can be in the presence of the God of the crucified Messiah for long without overcoming this double exclusion — without transposing the enemy from the sphere of the monstrous into the sphere of shared humanity and herself from the sphere of proud innocence into the sphere of common sinfulness. (Miroslav Volf)


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