Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on February 27, 2014

Hades I Peter HowsonGospel reading of the day:

Mark 9:41-50

Jesus said to his disciples: “Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the Kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.

“Everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good, but if salt becomes insipid, with what will you restore its flavor? Keep salt in yourselves and you will have peace with one another.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: What can we say about a Being for whom the 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe are less than a pinprick of light? This same Being observes the bending of a single blade of grass in a gentle breeze on a remote savannah on a spring morning. At the same time, this Being meditates on the dance of the protons, electrons, and neutrons in a single atom of a cell in your blood as your blood courses through your heart.

We think of our lives as unimportant and the ordinary things of our lives–the routines like filling a cup of water–of absolutely no consequence. But for the God who loves the universe into existence, there is no proportionality. Everything–every mundane thing in our lives–has infinite consequence, because God is infinite, and everything we do is present in the infinite and undivided mind of God. God’s attention to each of us makes infinite each of our routines–all of our little acts of kindness, all of our slights to neighbor and stranger, each glass of water we proffer as we make our ways through life.

Saint of the day: Born in Italy in 1836 into a large family and baptized Francis, Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows lost his mother when he was only four years old. He was educated by the Jesuits and, having been cured twice of serious illnesses, Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrowscame to believe that God was calling him to the religious life. Young Francis wished to join the Jesuits but was turned down, probably because of his age, not yet 17. Following the death of a sister to cholera, his resolve to enter religious life became even stronger and he was accepted by the Passionists. Upon entering the novitiate he was given the name Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows.

Ever popular and cheerful, Gabriel quickly was successful in his effort to be faithful in little things. His spirit of prayer, love for the poor, consideration of the feelings of others, exact observance of the Passionist Rule as well as his bodily penances—always subject to the will of his wise superiors—made a deep impression on everyone.

His superiors had great expectations of Gabriel as he prepared for the priesthood, but after only four years of religious life symptoms of tuberculosis appeared. Ever obedient, he patiently bore the painful effects of the disease and the restrictions it required, seeking no special notice. He died peacefully on February 27, 1862, at age 24, having been an example to both young and old. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows was canonized in 1920.

Spiritual reading: Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love. (Mother Teresa)

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