Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on January 14, 2014

fe4b732b6970c1b2c5eed3e65af65a4b_w600Gospel reading of the day:

Mark 1:21-28

Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers, and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are-–the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.

All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

Reflection on the gospel reading: John’s gospel opens with the observation that in the beginning was the Word, and this Word came down from heaven to be with us. Mark, though more obliquely than John, also alludes to the Word here at the start of his gospel when he describes the beginning of Jesus’ ministry with two allusions to the power of Jesus’ word. Jesus’ word as a teacher has power: he does not teach with references to the interpretive precedents of scriptural scholars; instead, he teaches something fresh and original and based on his own insight and authority. Jesus’ word as a healer and liberator has power: his word makes even the unclean spirits obey. Jesus invites the people of his time, as he does the people of ours, to listen, be healed, and be liberated through his powerful word spoken in their ears and ours.

Saint of the day: Peter Donders was born in Tilburg, Holland, on October 27, 1809. Petrus Donders was lovingly known by Tilburgers as Peerke Donders. He desired from his early childhood to be a priest, but he first worked in a factory. He afterwards became a servant in the minor seminary Beekvliet in Sint Michiels Gestel, where he was given some education. Later a benefactor enabled him to pursue his theological studies at the Major Seminary of Haaren.

Peter DondersA chance reading of the Annals of the Propagation of the Faith, a journal of reports from missions, determined his vocation for foreign missions. He was accepted in 1839 as a missionary for the then Dutch colony of Surinam (now the Republic of Suriname), and ordained priest the following year. In 1842 he traveled to Paramaribo, the capital of the colony, to begin his long apostolic career. He laboured with success among the African blacks in the plantations, and by 1850 had instructed and baptized 1200.

He extended his work to the Indians of Saramacca. In 1855 he took up his residence in Batavia, where for nearly 32 years he ministered to 600 lepers. He left them only to visit the Africans and Indians. In 1865 the whole colony was assigned to the Redemptorist Fathers by the Holy See and the Dutch King. Father Donders asked to join them and was received in Paramaribo, in 1867, by Monsignor Swinkels, the first Redemptorist vicar Apostolic. After this, he went back to his charges. He studied music to cheer his afflicted children, and though given an assistant, he labored until his death. Donders died among his lepers on January 14, 1887. He was mourned as their benefactor and invoked as a saint. He was buried within the Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral of Paramaibo, which was consecrated in 1885. He was beatified on May 23, 1982. Blessed Peter Donders is buried in Batavia, Suriname.

Spiritual reading: When I pray I am, in a sense, everybody… I meet other people not only in outward contact with them, but in the depths of my own heart. I am in a certain sense more one with other people in that which is most secret in my heart than I am when I am in external relations with them. The two go together; you can’t separate them. (Thomas Merton)


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