Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on December 4, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

Matthew 15:29-37

At that time: Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up on the mountain, and sat down there. Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the deformed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind able to see, and they glorified the God of Israel.

662cba0e0eafbe59e0ed71c5c567c3d6_w242_h242Jesus summoned his disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way.” The disciples said to him, “Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?” Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they replied, “and a few fish.” He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets full.

Reflection on the gospel reading: We have entered a season dedicated to gift giving. There is much about the way we celebrate this season that has become perfunctory; we often give out of a sense of obligation without hearts open to the deepest meaning of the season. But when Jesus gave it was because his heart was moved by the situations of the people he encountered. To the mute, he gave speech. To the blind, he gave sight. To the lame, he gave the ability to walk. To the hungry, he gave food. In each case, he had a heart fitted to the needs that were before him, and he gave a gift fitted to the situation.

san-giovanni-calabriaSaint of the day: John Calabria was born in Verona, Italy on October 8th, 1873, the son of Luigi Foschi and Angela Calabria; he was the youngest of seven brothers. His family lived in poverty; he was in the fourth grade when his father died he and had to interrupt his studies to find work as an apprentice: however, Don Pietro Scapini, Rector of St. Lawrence, who helped him to overcome the entrance exam in high school of the seminary. He resumed his studies after his military service, and in 1897 he enrolled at the Faculty of Theology Seminary, with the intention of becoming a priest. One night he found an abandoned baby and welcomed him into his house, sharing the facilities.

He was ordained a priest on August 11, 1901 and was appointed curate of St. Stephen and confessor of the Seminary. In 1907 he was appointed Rector of San Benedetto del Monte, where he also undertook the care and concern for the soldiers. On November 26, 1907, he founded the Congregation of the Poor Servants of Divine Providence. The congregation spread abroad when in 1934, four brothers were sent to India to take care of untouchables. John Calabria died December 4, 1954, was 81 years. He was beatified on April 17, 1988 and canonized on April 18, 1999.

Spiritual reading: For outlandish creatures like us, on our way to a heart, a brain, and courage, Bethlehem is not the end of our journey but only the beginning – not home but the place through which we must pass if ever we are to reach home at last. (Frederick Buechner)


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