Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on September 12, 2013

palestine-sermon-on-the-mount.jpg!BlogGospel reading of the day:

Luke 6:27-38

Jesus said to his disciples: “To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount. But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful.

“Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: We are creators in the world, whether or not we want to be. We are no islands, detached from one another; we are not lonely actors whose behavior touches no one or affects nothing around us. We inescapably exist within a complex web of relationships. If we produce some measure of hatred, there is then hatred where there had been none. If we strike someone, there is an injury that had not existed before. What we do becomes an unchangeable reality that, though it can be healed, can never be undone. In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus tells us, A good person brings forth good out of a store of goodness, but an evil person brings forth evil out of a store of evil. Our lives are like pebbles dropped in ponds. The pebble will create ripples on the surface of the water affecting realities divorced from the initial action. Whether the ripples issue from a store of goodness or a store of evil depends on us.

Saint of the day: Born in Wilmington, North Carolina on August 19, 1860, Thomas Frederick Price was the eighth child of Alfred and Clarissa Bond Price. His parents were converts to the Catholic faith, and he was raised as a devout Catholic in the midst of Southern apathy toward Catholicism. As a youth, Price was deeply influenced by the priests of his parish. One priest who figured prominently in his early life was Bishop James Gibbons, newly appointed first Vicar Apostolic of North Carolina. Gibbons established his headquarters at St. Thomas Church; Price often served Mass for Gibbons and accompanied him on official trips throughout the Vicariate.

Thomas Frederick PriceWith his religious background (especially the deep devotion of his mother to the Blessed Virgin Mary), Price soon felt an attraction to the priesthood. He confided his interest to the parish priest, Fr. Mark Gross, and arrangements were made for him to enter St. Charles Seminary at Catonsville, Maryland, in August 1876. En route to the seminary by ship, Price escaped death in the shipwreck of the ‘Rebecca Clyde’. Price attributed his survival to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. After the accident, he returned home until January 1877. Price attended St. Charles’ Seminary from January 1877, until his commencement on June 28, 1881. On September 1881, he entered St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 20, 1886, by Bishop Northrup at the pro-cathedral in Wilmington, North Carolina. (Both of Price’s parents had died before his ordination.) Price was the first North Carolinian to be ordained to the priesthood, and he was assigned to missionary work in the eastern section of his native state.

FrPriceFrom 1886 to 1910 he served Catholics in such eastern North Carolina towns and settlements as Goldsboro, New Bern, Chinquapin and Halifax. In 1899 Price helped establish an orphanage for boys at Nazareth, a small community near Raleigh. He joined with Reverend James A. Walsh, a Boston priest, to establish The Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America in 1911. More commonly known as the Maryknolls, the group was the first missionary order established by the Catholic Church in the U.S. The Maryknolls’ first missions were to Hong Kong and other areas in southern China. Fr Price suffered from physical ailments. Towards the latter part of 1919, he became seriously ill. As there were no adequate medical facilities in the area where he was serving, he was brought to Hong Kong for hospitalization. The long and arduous journey from Yeungkong to Hong Kong by primitive means of travel aggravated Fr. Price’s advanced and serious case of appendicitis. He entered the Hospital was operated on September 8, 1919. However, it was too late and on September 12, the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, he died as a result of a burst appendix. His body was buried in the priests’ plot in St. Michael’s Cemetery in Happy Valley, Hong Kong. He was only 59 when he died. Father Price’s body was exhumed in 1936 and transferred to Maryknoll Cemetery in Ossining, New York. In 1955, his remains, together with those of Bishop James A. Walsh, were finally interred in the crypt below the Maryknoll Seminary Chapel. An investigation into Father Price’s virtues started in 2012 as the first step in his cause for beatification.

Spiritual reading: The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. (Thomas Merton)


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