CACINA

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on December 16, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

Matthew 21:23-27

When Jesus had come into the temple area, the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him as he was teaching and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?” Jesus said to them in reply, “I shall ask you one question, and if you answer it for me, then I shall tell you by what authority I do these things. Where was John’s b03d23995fae721f0b4296bb83fc4895_w600baptism from? Was it of heavenly or of human origin?” They discussed this among themselves and said, “If we say ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we fear the crowd, for they all regard John as a prophet.” So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.” He himself said to them, “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Close to the middle of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus asks his disciples to take a stand. He poses to them the question, Who do men say that I am? Innocently and disarmingly, Peter gushes his faith that Jesus is the messiah. In today’s gospel, when the chief priests and the elders of the people refuse to see God’s hand in the work Jesus is doing, Jesus asks them if they can at least see God’s hand in the work that John did. Full of calculation and guile, they claim they do not know. Advent asks us to take a stand, to say whether we are for Jesus or against him, but a noncommittal shrug of our shoulders will not win the Lord’s respect.

Saint of the day: Honoratus Kozminski was born in 1825 in Biala Podlaska (Siedlce, Poland) and studied architecture at the School of Fine Arts in Warsaw. When Wenceslaus was almost 16, his father died. Suspected of participating in a rebellious conspiracy, the young man was imprisoned from April 1846 until the following March. In 1848 he received the Capuchin habit and a new name. Four years later he was ordained. In 1855 he helped Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska establish the Felician Sisters. Honoratus served as guardian in a Warsaw friary already in 1860. He dedicated his energies to preaching, to giving spiritual direction and to hearing confessions. He worked tirelessly with the Secular Franciscan Order.

kozminskiThe failed 1864 revolt against Czar Alexander III led to the suppression of all religious Orders in Poland. The Capuchins were expelled from Warsaw and forced to live in Zakroczym, where Honoratus continued his ministry and began founding 26 male and female religious congregations, whose members took vows but wore no religious habit and did not live in community. They operated much as today’s secular institutes do. Seventeen of these groups still exist as religious congregations. The writings of Father Honoratus are extensive: 42 volumes of sermons, 21 volumes of letters as well as 52 printed works on ascetical theology, Marian devotion, historical writings, pastoral writings — not counting his many writings for the religious congregations he founded.

In 1906, various bishops sought the reorganization of these groups under their authority; Honoratus defended their independence but was removed from their direction in 1908. He promptly urged the members of these congregations to obey the Church’s decisions regarding their future. He “always walked with God,” said a contemporary. In 1895 he was appointed Commissary General of the Capuchins in Poland. Three years before he had come to Nowe Miasto, where he died on December 16, 1916 and was buried. He was beatified in 1988.

Spiritual reading: Here in time we celebrate the eternal birth that God the Father bore and still bears constantly in eternity, and which is also now born in time, in human nature. St. Augustine says that this birth is happening continually. We should ask ourselves: If it doesn’t happen in me, what good is that birth after all? What ultimately matters is that God’s birth should happen in me. (Meister Eckhart)

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