Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on November 5, 2013

1cee82ad5f9a729789243417d853c1ca_w600Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 14:15-24

One of those at table with Jesus said to him, “Blessed is the one who will dine in the Kingdom of God.” He replied to him, “A man gave a great dinner to which he invited many. When the time for the dinner came, he dispatched his servant to say to those invited, ‘Come, everything is now ready.’ But one by one, they all began to excuse themselves. The first said to him, ‘I have purchased a field and must go to examine it; I ask you, consider me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have purchased five yoke of oxen and am on my way to evaluate them; I ask you, consider me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have just married a woman, and therefore I cannot come.’ The servant went and reported this to his >master. Then the master of the house in a rage commanded his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in here the poor and the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ The servant reported, ‘Sir, your orders have been carried out and still there is room.’ The master then ordered the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedgerows and make people come in that my home may be filled. For, I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste my dinner.’”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Jesus tells a parable about a man who throws a dinner party only to have the invited guests refuse his hospitality. The man then goes out and invites others to the meal and says that none of those who had received the original invitation will enjoy his hospitality. At the start of the gospel passage we hear that blessed are the ones who dine in the Kingdom of God. Within the context of the parable, Jesus certainly is talking about the refusal of the Chosen People to follow him and the early church’s subsequent embrace of the Gentiles. But just as many of the Jews in Jesus’ time did not come to the meal he had prepared, many of the baptized in our own time refuse to accept the invitation.

Saint of the day: Bernhard Lichtenberg was born in December 1875 in Ohlau (now Oława), Prussian Silesia, near Breslau (now Wrocław), the oldest of five children. He studied theology in Innsbruck, Austria-Hungary and was ordained in 1899. Lichtenberg began his ministry in Berlin in 1900 as the pastor of Charlottenburg. For a time he also was a member of the local parliament for the Center Party. In 1931, the Bishop of Berlin appointed him as a canon of the Cathedral chapter of St. Hedwig and in 1938 as provost of the cathedral, entrusting to him the task of helping the Jewish community of the city. Bernhard LichtenbergAfter Kristallnacht, the first organized Nazi pogrom in Germany, Lichtenberg prayed publicly for the Jews at Vespers services.

He protested in person to Nazi officials the arrest and killing of the sick and mentally ill as well as the persecution of the Jews. At first, the Nazis dismissed the priest as a nuisance. Father Lichtenberg was warned that he was in danger of being arrested for his activities, but he continued nonetheless. Deploring the regime of concentration camps like that of Dachau, he organized demonstrations against them outside certain camps. In 1942, Lichtenberg protested against the euthanasia programme by way of a letter to the chief physician of the Reich; he wrote, “I, as a human being, a Christian, a priest, and a German, demand of you, Chief Physician of the Reich, that you answer for the crimes that have been perpetrated at your bidding, and with your consent, and which will call forth the vengeance of the Lord on the heads of the German people.” Lichtenberg was arrested and condemned to prison. Because he was considered incorrigible, he was sent to the Dachau concentration camp, but he collapsed and died while in transit on November 5, 1943. He was beatified in 1996 during a Mass celebrated in the stadium that Hitler had constructed for the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. Lichtenberg’s tomb is situated in the crypt of St. Hedwig’s Cathedral in Berlin. After the war, the main office building of the Archdiocese of Berlin was named after him.

Spiritual reading: For anyone who wishes to hear what is true and real, every voice must for once be still. Silence, however, is not merely the absence of speech. It is not something negative; it is “something” in itself. It is a depth, a fullness, a peaceful flow of hidden life. Everything true and great grows in silence. Without silence we fall short of reality and cannot plumb the depths of being. (Ladislaus Boros)


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