Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on October 14, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 11:29-32

While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because f0f9d5d9c44b6e27f511a3a7152840f0_w600she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Jesus asks us to respond to the signs and wonders he has worked in our lives with a generous and complete commitment of ourselves. For those of us who have heard his name and learned of the power of his resurrection, the response in return is complete reliance on God’s providence as God reveals God’s will in each next moment. Everything we have experienced to this point is all the sign we need that the next moment, too, will enjoy God’s protection. As in the gospel passage, where Jesus extols the queen of the south and the Ninevites who did not believe but trusted all the same, Jesus is telling us that many unbelievers will fare better on the day of judgment than many of us who saw, understood, but still failed to trust.

Saint of the day: The Servant of God Julius Kambarage Burito Nyerere was born in 1922 at Butiama village, Musoma, Tanzania. He was a Zanaki by tribe. His father was Chief Burito Nyerere and his mother was Mgaya Wanyang’ombe. When he reached the age of twenty, he decided to join the Catholic Church and chose the baptismal name Julius. He was baptized on December 23, 1943. He studied at Makerere University in 1945. After Makerere University Nyerere took a position as a teacher at Saint Mary’s School in Tabora and received a scholarship to go to Edinburgh University in Scotland. _441768_independenceIn 1952, he was the first Tanzanian to be awarded a Masters degree.

Nyerere married Maria Gabriel Majige, a primary school teacher, on January 24, 1953. In 1954 he started to get involved in politics. He traveled throughout the country campaigning for independence, continuing on even in the face of numerous threats and obstacles from the colonial government. With independence December 1961, Nyere first became prime minister and within a year, president of the newly independent country, a position in which he served until 1985. Nyerere practiced his Christian faith _441768_leaderopenly in concrete ways. When at home he went to early morning prayer everyday from 6.00 to 7.00 a.m. He preferred to be called Mwalimu which means “teacher” in Swahili. For the sake of religious tolerance he helped to formulate the religious articles in the constitution for the right to freedom of religion. Whenever he was invited to participate in church functions, he challenged churches to strive to fulfill their calling. As president of Tanzania from 1961 to 1985–and even afterwards–Nyerere continued to challenge the church until his death in 1999. He often had the opportunity of speaking to church leaders and the laity and told them that the church had to serve the whole person, mentally, spiritually, and physically. Nyerere was well versed in his knowledge of the Bible.

_441768_topNyerere resigned from the office of the presidency in 1985. Due to his reputation as a leader, the international community appointed him peacemaker for the Burundi conflicts. Later he was appointed mediator for the political problems in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was also chairman of the South-South Commission. In his reconciliation efforts, Nyerere noted that the major causes of civil conflicts were poverty, greed for power, and tribalism. Using his international influence, Nyerere launched a campaign for the cancellation of debts owed by poor countries. The campaign persuaded some rich countries to cancel the debts of developing countries. Shortly before his demise, Nyerere predicted his death and promised to pray for the people of Tanzania, saying, “I know that I shall not recover from this sickness. I am unhappy to leave my Tanzanians . . . I shall pray for them before God.” Julius died on October 14, 1999 in London, United Kingdom. In 2005 the Catholic Diocese of Musoma opened the cause for Nyerere’s beatification.

Spiritual reading: God speaks to each of us as he makes us, then walks with us silently out of the night. These are the words we dimly hear: You, sent out beyond your recall, go to the limits of your longing. Embody me. Flare up like a flame and make big shadows I can move in. Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final. Don’t let yourself lose me. Nearby is the country they call life. You will know it by its seriousness. Give me your hand. (Rainer Maria Rilke)


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