Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on February 3, 2014

200_25Gospel reading of the day:

Mark 5:1-20

Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea, to the territory of the Gerasenes. When he got out of the boat, at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him. The man had been dwelling among the tombs, and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain. In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains, but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones. Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and prostrated himself before him, crying out in a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I gerasene_demon_by_toonfedadjure you by God, do not torment me!” (He had been saying to him, “Unclean spirit, come out of the man!”) He asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “Legion is my name. There are many of us.” And he pleaded earnestly with him not to drive them away from that territory.

Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside. And they pleaded with him, “Send us into the swine. Let us enter them.” And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine. The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they were drowned. The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town and throughout the countryside. And people came out to see what had happened. As they approached Jesus, they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion, sitting there clothed and in his right mind. And they were seized with fear. Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened to the possessed man and to the swine. Then they began to beg him to leave their district. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him. But Jesus would not permit him but told him instead, “Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.” Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.

Reflection on the gospel reading: Suffering can be the source of great wisdom. The man in today’s gospel occupied his own special hell, separated from his community, ranting uncontrollably, and inflicting injury upon himself. But he had eyes to see Jesus and recognize in him the special attributes that set Jesus apart from other human beings. It is easy for us to dismiss the ravings of lunatics and diminish the torment of the mentally ill, but insight is sometimes available in the places we least expect it, and if our eyes are open like Jesus’, we will learn things we little expected from sources we discount.

Saint of the day: Alois Andritzki was the son of the teacher, school director, organist and cantor Johann Andritzki and his wife Magdalena. He was born born in Dreseden, Germany in 1914. He had two sisters and three brothers. Like Alois, his three brothers studied theology, and the youngest brother Alfonso, a Jesuit, was a soldier in the Second World War. Alois AndritzkiFrom 1934 to 1938 he studied philosophy and theology at the Philosophical-Theological Academy Paderborn. Following his studies he lived in the Seminary of the Diocese of Meissen in Schmochtitz at Bautzen. On July 30, 1939 Alois Andritzki was ordained a priest by Bishop Peter Legge in St. Peter’s Cathedral. He celebrated his first mass on August 6, 1939 in his home town in Radibor. He was chaplain at the Catholic Hofkirche in Dresden and served as a youth pastor and prefect. Alois Andritzki was opposed to the Nazi Party and made the authorities uncomfortable because of his personal sincerity and negative attitude toward Nazi ideology. In lectures and in meetings he denounced the persecution of clergy, adherents of Nazism, and criticized the writings of the Nazi ideologues.

There initially was an attempt to intimidate him by interrogation. He was arrested him on January 21, 1941 by the Gestapo and brought for further interrogation on February 7. He was lodged in provisional detention in the remand prison in Dresden at the George-Bähr-Straße. In July 1941 he was accused in a Nazi court of “insidious attacks on the state and party,” and sentenced to a prison term of six months. Since he refused to cooperate with the Nazis, he was moved on October 2, 1941 from Dresden to the Dachau concentration camp. He was locked up with the other clerics in the priest block. Alois Andritzki received the prisoner number 27829. During his incarceration, despite the adverse conditions of detention, he endeavored to maintain his priestly life. With other priests he studied regularly the Scriptures and created ​​with them a liturgy circle. In December 1942, typhus broke out among the malnourished prisoners as a result of poor hygienic conditions in the concentration camp. Shortly after Christmas 1942 Alois became ill. He entered the infirmary on January 19, 1943. During this time he was there along with the priest Hermann Scheipers for abdominal typhus. He died on February 3, 1943. He was beatified in 2011.

Spiritual reading: It is looking at things for a long time that ripens you and gives you understanding. (Vincent van Gogh)


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