Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on December 19, 2013

Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 1:5-25

In the days of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah of the priestly division of Abijah; his wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both were righteous in the eyes of God, observing all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren and both were advanced in years.

Once when he was serving as priest in his division’s turn before God, according to the practice of the priestly service, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord to burn incense. Then, when the whole assembly of the people was praying outside at the hour of the incense offering, the angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of incense. Zechariah was troubled by what he saw, and fear came upon him.

zacharias-and-elizabeth-1914.jpg!BlogBut the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He will drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb, and he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers toward children and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to prepare a people fit for the Lord.”

Then Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel said to him in reply, “I am Gabriel, who stand before God. I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news. But now you will be speechless and unable to talk until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time.” Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah and were amazed that he stayed so long in the sanctuary. But when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He was gesturing to them but remained mute.

Then, when his days of ministry were completed, he went home. After this time his wife Elizabeth conceived, and she went into seclusion for five months, saying, “So has the Lord done for me at a time when he has seen fit to take away my disgrace before others.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Luke’s infancy narrative sets out two ways to respond to God’s call. Tomorrow we will read about the annunciation, which describes Mary’s trust and acceptance of what the angel Gabriel tells her. Today’s gospel, however, sets forth Zechariah’s doubt and mistrust. Zechariah receives a promise from God exactly of the kind that God made to Abraham, but though Abraham believed what God told him, Zechariah refuses to accept it. Luke’s contrast is this: Though Zechariah says, Prove it, Mary says, How is this possible? Though Zechariah asks for more evidence, Mary asks for an explanation. Zechariah says he can’t be sure; Mary doesn’t doubt the angel’s word but says she doesn’t understand. The angel’s approval of Mary’s response merits for her an explanation, but Zechariah’s response leads to a rebuke.

DubrouxSaint of the day: René Dubroux was born in Haroué in France in November 1914, a few months after the outbreak of the First World War. After his primary education in his village and secondary education in Nancy, he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Saint-Dié just before the outbreak of the Second World War. He attended the Grand Seminary of Saint-Dié from 1933 to 1939 and was ordained on Jan. 8, 1939. He then decided to enter the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

414px-Meister_der_Braunschweig-Magdeburger_Schule_001Assigned to Laos, he first served two years as a military chaplain in Indochina before he returned to his post in 1948. Appointed to Namdik, he remained there for nine years working with the Laotian people. In addition to seeing to their spiritual welfare, Father Dubroux taught them to harvest the forest and sell the timber to earn money. After nine years, interrupted by one return of 14 months to France, he was appointed to another district.

On December 19, 1959, less than a week before Christmas, Father Dubroux visited the village of Palay, Laos. Hidden behind a bush, a militant Pathet Lao barged into the sacristy of the chapel where Father Dubroux was. (The Pathet Lao was the Laotian national Communist group.) The militant shot a single bullet which killed Father Dubroux instantly.

Saint of the day: O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples; before you kings will shut their mouths, to you the nations will make their prayer: Come and deliver us, and delay no longer. (O Antiphon for December 19)


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