Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on February 11, 2014

8bbc06f1ef6f2888385d4d3a81c1179d_w600Gospel reading of the day:

Mark 7:1-13

When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus, they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands. (For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews, do not eat without carefully washing their hands, keeping the tradition of the elders. And on coming from the marketplace they do not eat without purifying themselves. And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed, the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds.) So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”

He responded, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written:

This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.

You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.” He went on to say, “How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition! For Moses said,

Honor your father and your mother, and Whoever curses father or mother shall die.

Yet you say, ‘If someone says to father or mother, “Any support you might have had from me is qorban”‘ (meaning, dedicated to God), you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother. You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: We who consult the scriptures for guidance and revere the religious traditions we’ve received from our parents and grandparents sometimes fall into a bind fashioned from our biases. We pick and choose among the scriptures and our traditions for what binds us and what does not. Jesus condemns this buffet approach to religion and calls on us to cultivate a religion of the heart that distinguish true religion from human tradition.

Saint of the day: Nazarene Lanciotti was born in Rome on March 3, 1940. He studied at the seminary in Subiaco and was ordained a priest June 29, 1966. He began his priestly ministry in the parish of St. John Chrysostom, in Montesacro, where he joined Operation Mato Grosso. In November 1971 he left for the Diocese of Caceres in Brazil, which had an area of 105,000 Nazarene Lanciottisquare kilometers with 200,000 inhabitants, three parishes, and five missionaries. He settled in Jaurù, located in the state of Mato Grosso on the border with Bolivia. For thirty years he tirelessly labored as a missionary, overcoming difficulties and suffering for Christ and his Gospel. His Indians were poor and exploited, lacked electricity, water, media, and schools. In 1974, he created the largest and busiest hospital in the region with the church of Our Lady of the Pillar. He founded a home for the elderly to provide assistance to the abandoned sick. Complying with his desire to train lay people and priests in the service of the Church, he started a school in 1978 which brought together 600 children. Liturgy, Eucharist, and the Rosary were the cornerstones of his catechesis, which spread in the frequent trips across Brazil, as head of the Marian Movement of Priests. Father Nazarene was always been at the forefront to thwart the plans of gangs of criminals who operated on both sides of the Brazilian-Bolivian border, trafficking in cocaine and prostitution. On the night of February 11, 2001, which was the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, Father Nazarene was brutally attacked by two killers who shot him in the neck.

Spiritual reading: Contemplation is a very dangerous activity. It not only brings us face to face with God. It brings us, as well, face to face with the world, face to face with the self. And then, of course, something must be done. Nothing stays the same once we have found the God within…. We carry the world in our hearts: the oppression of all peoples, the suffering of our friends, the burdens of our enemies, the raping of the Earth, the hunger of the starving, the joy of every laughing child. (Joan Chittister)


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