Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on December 18, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

Matthew 1:18-25

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a mary-and-joseph-with-jesus.jpgdream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,

which means “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.

Reflection on the gospel reading: Under Jewish law, Joseph as Mary’s betrothed had a right to sexual relations with Mary. Mary is pregnant, and though the neighbors likely suspect nothing, Joseph knows he is not the baby’s father. Joseph, of course, is horrified, and within his cultural milieu, marrying a woman capable of such a thing is unthinkable to him. But Joseph is a good man, and he doesn’t want harm to come to Mary. Accordingly, he decides to quietly end the engagement with Mary and move on with his life.

God, of course, has other ideas. He sends word to Joseph in a dream that the baby has a unique origin. Joseph now must put faith in his dream. Joseph, the man of faith, does that. And out of Joseph’s faith comes the fertile ground for the world’s salvation; indeed, the name given the baby by the angel in the dream, Joshua (rendered Jesus in Greek, the language of the New Testament), means, Yahweh saves. And thus it is, as the Prophet Isaiah foretold, that God is with us.

And so it is true with us that whenever we choose to put our faith in God that God is with us.

alice domon y léoni duquetSaint of the day: Léonie Duquet and Alice Domon were French nuns who were arrested in December 1977 in Buenos Aires, Argentina and subsequently disappeared. Léonie Duquet was born in 1916 in France, where she grew up in a Catholic family. Interested in service in the Church, Léonie joined the Institute of Sisters in Foreign Missions Notre-Dame de la Motte. After taking vows as a nun, she traveled and worked as a missionary internationally. She was assigned to work in Argentina in the early 1970s and dedicated herself to helping Argentina’s poor. She worked among them in Buenos Aires province as well as in the capital city.

Alice Domon was born in in 1937 in Charquemont in France’s Doubs region. As a girl she entered the Sisters of the Foreign Missions. Sister Alice moved to Argentina in 1967, where she lived in Hurlingham and Morón, of the industrial corridor of Buenos Aires. She taught catechism to handicapped persons and worked with the poor. Domon was dedicated to her social work with the inhabitants of shanty towns. In 1971 she went to Corrientes to collaborate with the Ligas Agrarias organization, which was formed by the small producers of cotton.

Following the military coup of March 24, 1976, the junta began extreme repression of political opponents and state terrorism. Domon decided to get involved with human rights organizations. Upon Léonie Duquet and Alice Domonher return to Corrientes, she lodged at Léonie Duquet’s house. In December 1977, Sisters Alice and Léonie, along with the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo and other human rights activists, prepared a request for the names of those who disappeared and for the government to divulge their whereabouts. Between Thursday, December 8 and Saturday, December 10, 1977, a group under the command of Alfredo Astiz, a Marine captain and intelligence officer, kidnapped a group of 12 people connected with the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo. Among them were Sisters Alice and Léonie. Astiz had infiltrated the group, posing as a family member of a desaparacido and using a false name. Either on December 17 or December 18, 1977, the two Sisters and the rest of their group were “transferred” (a euphemism used by the military when murdering dissidents) to the military airport in Buenos Aires. They were put in a Marine plane and thrown out of the plane while still alive, landing in the sea off the coast of Santa Teresita, where they died as soon as they hit the water.

Spiritual reading: O Adonai, and leader of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm. (O Antiphon for December 18)


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