Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on February 13, 2014

tumblr_lz3a3sre6h1qaps6vo1_400Gospel reading of the day:

Mark 7:24-30

Jesus went to the district of Tyre. He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it, but he could not escape notice. Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him. She came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first. For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She replied and said to him, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.” Then he said to her, “For saying this, you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter.” When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.

Reflection on the gospel reading: I have written recently about the growth of Jesus’ fame among the people. In today’s gospel, Jesus enters a house hoping to escape notice, but his reputation is widely known, and a woman recognizes him, comes to him, falls at his feet, and entreats a favor. jesus-and-the-gentile-womanShe is a Gentile, and Jesus seems disinclined to grant her request. Perhaps he is weary at having been recognized, but he explains that his mission is first to the children of the house of Israel. Jews sometimes referred to Gentiles as dogs, and Jesus uses this term to explain his reluctance. The woman, however, is not offended; indeed, she probably knew the usage, because she immediately refers to Jesus with a term of respect: “Lord,” she says to him. And then she cleverly says that even dogs eat the scraps that fall from their masters’ tables. She implicitly is saying that even dogs don’t have to wait; they may eat scraps, but they eat them at the same time as the family. Jesus is moved by her cleverness and immediately grants her what she has asked.

Saint of the day: James Miller, F.S.C., born in 1944 in Steven Point, Wisconsin, was an American member of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. He grew up in Custer, Wisconsin. He joined the Christian Brothers during his freshman year of high school and received a Master’s degree in Spanish from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in Winona, Minnesota.

James MillerIn 1969 Miller was sent to Bluefields, Nicaragua, where he taught in both elementary and high schools. He returned to the United States, where he taught at Cretin High School in St. Paul, Minnesota before returning to teach in Central America. First working in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, he helped to build an industrial arts/vocational complex. He was later transferred to Guatemala. On February 13, 1982, Miller was shot and killed by masked gunmen while on a ladder repairing a wall at the De La Salle Indian School at Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Some suspected that his killing was in retaliation for the work of the Christian Brothers to prevent Indian boys from being conscripted into the military. Miller had dedicated himself to providing job and leadership skills to Indian people to help ease the oppression suffered by Guatemalan Indians. Although students were exempt from the military, two days before the shooting an Indian student was forced into the army. A different Christian Brother went to the authorities to obtain the student’s release. The military refused and the Brother, adamant, had infuriated them. The Catholic Diocese of La Crosse sponsors an annual Brother James Miller Social Justice Award.

Spiritual reading: Lord, when I feel that what I’m doing is insignificant and unimportant, help me to remember that everything I do is significant and important in your eyes, because you love me and you put me here, and no one else can do what I am doing in exactly the way I do it. (Brennan Manning)


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