Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on December 31, 2013


Gospel reading of the day:

John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him.

But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God. And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. John testified to him and cried out, Trinity Balkansc1800saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’” From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.

Reflection on the gospel reading: Here at the start of John’s gospel, there are some extraordinary claims made about who Jesus is. These claims relate closely to an experience of him by people who saw him, heard him, touched him, knew him. Add to this testimony the willingness of many of those who saw, heard, touched, and knew him to go to their deaths for what they had seen and what they had heard, claims such as those which we have in the Prologue are powerful indeed. Scholars have conjectured that the Christological hymn in Philippians which confesses to the glory of God that Jesus Christ is Lord was being sung in Jerusalem within five years of the crucifixion. There is evidence that a substantial Christian community existed in Rome only 14 years after the resurrection. We close another year fully conscious that God has blessed us but also aware that human nature always admits of failure. We trust God to wipe away every tear and make all things new again. Joy to each of you in the new year 2014. May we all love the Word, the man Jesus, who is our divine Lord, still more dearly next year on this day than we today at the end of year. That journey into the love of Jesus begins right here, right now. As it was when we started 2013, so it is now, and will be to the end: Praised be Jesus Christ!

Saint of the day: Born in 1929 in Tshilombe, Kasai-Occidental in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Honoré Mudiangombe, a priest of the ‘Merode mission in South Kasai, was killed on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1961, together with the driver of the truck in which he was traveling by soldiers of the national army. Fr. Mudiangombe had been acting as protector for a number of ‘Merode families who were ‘migrating northward to the provincial capital of Luluabourg, and had traveled with them in a hired truck as far as the South Kasai frontier. On the return trip to ‘Merode, the driver of the truck, who was also the owner, picked up some passengers. On reaching the bridge over the River Lubi, Congolese national army troops stopped the truck and claimed that Fr. Mudiangombe was escorting a group of Jeunesses–organized young armed bandits. When the passengers panicked and fled, the soldiers blamed the driver and killed him on the spot, only leaving enough time for the priest to give him absolution. Fr. Mudiangombe was taken hostage and pushed into the truck, which the soldiers then drove towards the bridge, where they were attacked by some real Jeunesses. The soldiers, assuming the priest was responsible, killed him without further inquiry and threw his body into the river.

Spiritual reading: This is the ending. Now not day only shall be beloved, but night too shall be beautiful and blessed and all its fear pass away. (J.R.R. Tolkien)

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