Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on March 7, 2014

Gospel reading of the day:

Matthew 9:14-15

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: This gospel passage contrasts two conditions. The first of them is that of the disciples of John the Baptist and the Pharisees; the second, that of the disciples of Jesus. John’s disciples and Pharisees fast; they experience an emptiness–a void–that yearns to be filled. Jesus’ disciples feast, because they are in the presence of the bridegroom. The difference between the condition of John’s disciples and the Pharisees, and the condition of Jesus’ disciples is simple. It is Jesus. It is Jesus’ presence that makes the entire difference. It is Jesus’ presence that fills the emptiness and satisfies the yearning.

Saint of the day: The monk and priest, Leonid Ivanovich Feodorov, was born in a pious Russian Orthodox family on November 4, 1879 in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was primarily raised by his mother, Liubov Dimitrievna; his father was a cook and often worked very long hours. Leonid entered the St. Petersburg Theological Academy.

In 1902, he left his studies at the Petersburg Spiritual Academy and travelled abroad. He frequented the fledgling Russian Catholic community in St. Petersburg, along with his mother and became acquainted with clerical and lay members of the Russian Catholic community. Leonid eventually embraced Catholicism as a Russian Greek Catholic.

He was ordained to the diaconate, and two days later to the priesthood in Constantinople by the hand of Bulgarian Catholic Bishop +Mikhail Mirov. He never abandoned a vision of unity between Russian Orthodoxy and Catholicism. He truly believed full unity was possible without abandoning any of the liturgical, spiritual, and theological treasures of the Russian tradition.

Leonid had long been drawn to the life of St. Theodore the Studite and his Rule, and he eventually was received as a monastic novice. In 1913 he became a monk and was sent to assist in the formation of a new Studite foundation in Kamenica. With the beginning of World War I, Leonid returned to tsarist Russia but was then exiled to Siberia.

In 1917, he was released and appointed Exarch of the Russian Greek Catholic Church at the Synod in St. Petersburg. His second imprisonment came in 1923 by the Bolsheviks; this sentence lasted ten years. From 1926 to 1929 he served his term in Solovki and later in exile in various places, and finally Viatka. He died as a martyr for church unity on March 7, 1935. He was beatified in 2001.

Spiritual reading: I thank you God for most this amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and for a blue true dream of sky; and for everything natural which is infinite which is yes. (e.e. cummings)


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