Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on December 3, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 10:21-24

Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

2771ee16e24d154dc07f11c35522fca4_w600Turning to the disciples in private he said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: There is an odd thing that happens to us. The less we pay attention to the story of Jesus, the more familiar the story becomes to us; the more familiar the story becomes, the more we grow bored, and the less inclined we become to keep it in our minds. Generations of prophets and kings waited for what we too easily take for granted, but Advent reminds us of the special blessing we who are baptized have received. As easy as it can be to let attention to Jesus slip from our minds, the truth is that the Father has chosen to open our eyes–yours and mine–to see the very Son whom the Father knows. Advent is medicine against the apathy that breeds familiarity. It comes as a gift to remind us to keep Jesus in mind, because the Father has not given this gift of the revelation of the Son to everyone–but to you and me, and because the Father makes no mistakes, it is important that you and I keep Jesus in our attention. The Father gifts us to know what the Father knows, and this season of Advent is the prism through which we can look at Jesus and the hollow space through which we can hear him call to us. For it is in thinking about Jesus and in meditating on the mystery of who Jesus is that we become renewed and excited to know more.

Saint of the day: Francis Xavier was born in the family castle of Xavier, near Pamplona in the Basque area of Spanish Navarre on Apr. 7, 1506. He was sent to the University of Paris in 1525, secured his licentiate in 1528, met Ignatius Loyola and became one of the seven who in 1534, at Montmartre, founded the Society of Jesus. In 1536 he left Paris to join Ignatius in Venice, from where they all intended to go as missionaries to Palestine (a trip which never materialized). He was ordained there in 1537, went to Rome in 1538, and in 1540, when the pope formally recognized the Society, was ordered, with Fr. Simon Rodriguez, to the Far East as the first Jesuit missionaries.

the-life-of-st-ignatius-loyola-plate-4-ignatius-and-his-friend-francis-xavier-at-the-university.jpg!BlogKing John III kept Fr. Simon in Lisbon, but Francis, after a year’s voyage, six months of which were spent at Mozambique where he preached and gave aid to the sick, eventually arrived in Goa, India in 1542 with Fr. Paul of Camerino an Italian, and Francis Mansihas, a Portuguese. There he began preaching to the Indians and attempted to reform his fellow Europeans. He lived among the people to whom he carried the gospel and adopted their customs on his travels. During the next decade he converted tens of thousands to Christianity. He visited the Paravas at the tip of India. near Cape Comorin, Tuticorin (1542), Malacca (1545), the Moluccas near New Guinea and Morotai near the Philippines (1546-47), and Japan (1549- 51). In 1551, India and the East were set up as a separate province and Ignatius made Francis its first provincial. In 1552 he set out for China, landed on the island of Sancian within sight of his goal, but died on December 3 before he reached the mainland. Working against great difficulties; language problems; inadequate funds; and lack of cooperation, often Bethnal-Green-poactual resistance, from European officials, Francis Xavier still left the mark of his missionary zeal and energy on areas which have now clung to Christianity for centuries. He was canonized in 1622.

Spiritual reading: A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes… and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)


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