CACINA

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on February 8, 2014

4_Stanley_Spencer_English_painter_1891_1959_The_Eagles_2_Gospel reading of the day:

Mark 6:30-34

The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them.

When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

Reflection on the gospel reading: Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, invited people to become contemplatives in action. Few of us receive the call to dedicate our lives to an isolated life of prayer. Most of us are inclined toward busy lives in the world. But active lives can lose focus. Jesus maintained a balance in his life between mission and reflection, and the gospel passage shows that he taught his disciples to do the same. Our vocations as baptized people call us to be women and men who serve, to engage in some kind of ministry, but even Christian ministry can lose its focus if we are not attentive to our spiritual lives and cultivate a spirit of prayer and reflection that grounds our work in the life of God. Even so, this narrative teaches us that we must always be available to need as it presents itself: when an opportunity to serve is in front of us, we must be men and women for others.

Saint of the day: For many years, Josephine Bakhita was a slave but her spirit was always free and eventually that spirit prevailed. Born in Olgossa in the Darfur region of southern Sudan, Josephine was kidnaped at the age of seven, sold into slavery and given the name Bakhita, which means fortunate. She was re-sold several times, finally in 1883 to Callisto Legnani, Italian consul in Khartoum, Sudan.

Two years later he took Josephine to Italy and gave her to his friend Augusto Michieli. Bakhita became babysitter to Mimmina Michieli, whom she accompanied to Venice’s Institute of the Catechumens, run by the Canossian Sisters. While Mimmina was being instructed, Josephine felt drawn to the Catholic Church. She was baptized and confirmed in 1890, taking the name Josephine.

When the Michielis returned from Africa and wanted to take Mimmina and Josephine back with them, the future saint refused to go. During the ensuing court case, the Canossian sisters and the patriarch of Venice intervened on Josephine’s behalf. The judge concluded that since slavery was illegal in Italy, she had actually been free since 1885.

Josephine entered the Institute of St. Magdalene of Canossa in 1893 and made her profession three years later. In 1902, she was transferred to the city of Schio (northeast of Verona), where she assisted her religious community through cooking, sewing, embroidery and welcoming visitors at the door. She soon became well loved by the children attending the sisters’ school and the local citizens. She once said, “Be good, love the Lord, pray for those who do not know Him. What a great grace it is to know God!”

Josephine died on February 8, 1947 in Italy. She was canonized in 2000.

Spiritual reading: Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself: Who could be the Master of these beautiful things? And I felt a great desire to see him, to know Him and to pay Him homage. (St. Josephine Bakhita)

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