CACINA

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on October 19, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 12:8-12

Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.

“Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: It is a testament to Christian belief in God’s mercy that the question of what constitutes the unforgivable sin has challenged theologians down through the centuries as they have speculated what such a sin could be. How can human beings of finite powers commit a sin that the infinitely merciful God cannot forgive? Jesus contextualizes unforgivable sin within witness to him. He says that anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. People may find Jesus or what Jesus said a stumbling block that they need to work through, but to set oneself up against the Holy Spirit is to lock oneself into opposition to truth itself. It is to adopt a stance which fundamentally opposes reconciliation with the truth, and since reconciliation requires participation by both the forgiver and the forgiven, reconciliation becomes impossible. God is merciful even to the extent of letting us shut the door completely to the truth, if that is what we desire.

Saint of the day: Born into a wealthy family in Orleans, France in 1607, Saint Isaac Jogues was enrolled by his parents in the Jesuit school there and became a priest of the Society of Jesus in 1636. Longing to work with the Huron Indians in the foreign missions, Isaac requested and received the assignment to go to Quebec, Canada almost immediately after ordination. The Jesuits had established missions there s the first missionaries in Canada and the upper United States after French explorer J. Cartier discovered this land in 1534. For six years he was very successful and effected many conversions among the Hurons traveling between Nova Scotia and Maryland. But in 1642 a band of Iroquois, who were the natural enemy of the Hurons, captured Isaac along with Rene Goupil and another group of Jesuits. Rene was martyred but Isaac and his companions allowed to live though they underwent hideous and inhumane torture which included mutilation. Isaac’s fingers were severed and he was left to die in the wilderness but the Dutch rescued him and he was able to return to France in 1644. However he longed to be a martyr and finally secured a transfer back to Quebec in 1646. Once they had arrived Isaac and new companion Saint Jean Brebeuf set out for Iroquois country for a peace treaty had been signed. But warmongers among the Mohawks intercepted the missionaries and cruelly tomahawked them and scalped them from the neck up at Auriesville, New York on October 18 and 19, 1646. Isaac died on the 18th and Jean the next day. Over the next three years five other missionaries would join Isaac, Rene, and Jean on the list of the eight Jesuit martyrs: Noel Chabanel, Anthony Daniel, Charles Garnier, John de Lalande, and Gabriel Lallemant. Exactly ten years after Isaac’s death a young Indian girl was born in the same village where Fr. Jogues was murdered: her name, Saint Kateri Tekakwitha. Isaac Jogues and his companions are known as the Martyrs of North America and patron saints of Canada.

Spiritual reading: My confidence is placed in God who does not need our help for accomplishing his designs. Our single endeavor should be to give ourselves to the work and to be faithful to him, and not to spoil his work by our shortcomings. (Isaac Jogues)

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