Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on September 30, 2013

Giovanni MeschiniGospel reading of the day:

Luke 9:46-50

An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child and placed it by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.”

Then John said in reply, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow in our company.” Jesus said to him, “Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Jesus tells John not to prevent others from speaking truth even if they are not followers of Jesus. If God is God, God is everywhere, and God’s hand appears in unexpected places–in the work of religious and non-religious people, atheists, agnostics, and people who are simply apathetic about the possibility of more than we can sense. Certainly we Christians always hold our faith in Jesus close and do not compromise what we have received through the teachings entrusted us, but God is too big for anyone of us or our systems to comprehend. For this reason, we train our hearts to encounter the truth in new and surprising ways and in places we never anticipated we would find it.

Saint of the day: Alfred Pampalon was born on November 24, 1867, in the city of Levis, near Quebec City. Even at an early age, people recognized his virtue. As a student, Alfred radiated goodness, loved to laugh and joke, and excelled at sports, becoming a recognized athlete among his peers. He was a role model for his fellow students who, instead of feeling inferior, looked up to him and showed him great affection. Alfred desired to become a Redemptorist priest and after entering, traveled to Belgium to study for the priesthood.

Alfred_PampalonOn October 4, 1892, he was ordained a priest. He served the poor and the suffering, leading people to love God and find peace. He was both gentle and personable. He loved the Eucharist. He was nicknamed the “Lamb of God” because of his spirituality.

Still a very young man, Alfred manifested symptoms of tuberculosis. He suffered from tuberculosis for two years when on September 4, 1895, he left Belgium to return home to Canada. At the Basilica of Saint Anne de Beaupre, although his health was failing rapidly, Alfred was able to preach, hear confessions, baptize, act as a spiritual director, and give comfort to the poor for a few more months. By August 1896, dropsy affected his legs, his body, and even his face. In September, his body ached all over, and he could find no comfortable position to rest in. He still managed to show kindness to other sick Redemptorists with a few words and a smile. On the evening of September 29, 1896, the dying priest, remaining perfectly lucid, prayed continuously. Suddenly, he sat up straight, and in a strong healthy voice began to sing the Magnificat. A little before 8:00 on the morning of September 30, 1896, he opened his eyes and looked up smiling, dying at the age of 28. Alfred was declared venerable in 1991.

Spiritual reading: As we learn to live fluidly and generously, leaning into the wind of that divine abundance, we literally participate in making manifest the Mercy of God, which saturates our planet with meaning and draws all things together in a single dynamic web of belonging. (Cynthia Bourgeault)

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