Carry the gospel with you

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

shapeimage_2Gospel reading of the day:

Mark 10:17-27

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.” He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

>Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: The disciples in today’s gospel are “exceedingly astonished” at how rigorous the requirements are to enter the Kingdom of heaven and ask Jesus, “Who can be saved?” Jesus does not correct the disciples’ conclusion that entering the Kingdom is very difficult. In fact, he confirms their reasoning is correct: that for human beings, it is simply impossible. But if our salvation relied on our own resources, we wouldn’t have needed Jesus to come. We could have saved ourselves. But our own resources only get us more and more deeply into the muck, and we rely on the mercy of God, for whom all things are possible.

Saint of the day: Katharine Drexel was born November 26, 1858 in Philadelphia. The daughter of the extremely wealthy railroad entrepreneurs and philanthropists Francis Anthony and Emma (Bouvier) Drexel, she was taught from an early age to use her wealth for the benefit of others; her parents even opened their home to the poor several days each week. Katharine’s older sister Elizabeth founded a Pennsylvania trade school for orphans; her younger sister founded a liberal arts and vocational school for poor blacks in Virginia. Katharine nursed her mother through a fatal three-year illness before setting out on her own; Emma died in 1883.

Interested in the condition of Native Americans, during a visit in 1887, she asked Leo XIII to send more missionaries to Wyoming for her friend, Bishop James O’Connor. Leo replied, “Why don’t you become a missionary?”

She visited the Dakotas, met the Sioux chief, and began her systematic aid to Indian missions, eventually spending millions of the family fortune. She entered the novitiate of the Sisters of Mercy. She founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored, now known simply as the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1891. She received advise from Mother Frances Cabrini on getting the Order’s rule approved in Rome. She received the approval in 1913.

By 1942, she had a system of black Catholic schools in 13 states, 40 mission centers, 23 rural schools, 50 Indian missions, and Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana, the first United States university for blacks. Segregationists harassed her work.

Following a heart attack, she spent her last twenty years in prayer and meditation. She died March 3, 1955 of natural causes at the mother house of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. She was the first person born a citizen of the United States to be canonized.

Spiritual reading: If we wish to serve God and love our neighbor well, we must manifest our joy in the service we render to Him and them. Let us open wide our hearts. It is Joy which invites us. Press forward and fear nothing. (Katharine Drexel)


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