Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on March 22, 2014

1404a33962c6688a590b8999ea0503de_w600Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So to them Jesus addressed this parable. “A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’ So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any. Coming to his senses he thought, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”‘ So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly, bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a imagesfeast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began. Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, ‘Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. He said to his father in reply, ‘Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’ He said to him, ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.'”

Reflection on the gospel reading: We say God is love, but I think most of the time what we actually mean is that God is a being who loves a lot. But that is not correct. God is not a lover in the sense that love is something God does; God is love itself. Love is what creates and sustains the whole of creation. Love holds the stars together. Love is the binding that keeps the planets in their orbits. Love is what allows us to exist; it is why we are embodied; it is why our psyches and bodies anticipate the existence of others. Love explains everything which is.

Saint Paul says that love is kind and patient, bears all things, and doesn’t keep a record of wrongs. The parable of the prodigal son is a parable about love, and it is a complete portrait of what love does both in the face of injury and the petition for forgiveness. The parable explains how God is kind and patient; God is not self-seeking; God bears all things; God does not keep a record of wrongs; and God always protects us and always perseveres in the effort to have us.

Saint of the day: Heinrich Maier was born on February 16, 1908, the son of a railway family in Lower Austria. Early on, he recognized his vocation to the priesthood and studied philosophy in Rome and theology in Vienna, completing a doctorate in each of this disciplines. He ordained a priest in Vienna in July 1832.

40855_Maier_Heinrich_1936As a youth chaplain, he soon realized the great danger with which the Nazis threatened young people and Austria. The young priest that he opposed the regime and offered his resistance. From 1940 onward, Fr. Maier maintained contacts with individual resistance groups and up to the time of his arrest, was one of the leading members of the a group that maintained contact with the American OSS intelligence service, both through international companies in Switzerland and Istanbul. The group provided reports about the locations of arms factories that facilitated the Allied bombing raids against state defense priorities. In this way, residential area were protected; until Fr. Maier’s arrest in 1944, the destruction of Vienna’s residential areas was minimal.

On March 28, 1944, Fr. Maier was arrested by the Gestapo after the celebration of matins in the sacristy. In the following days the two other primary leaders along with various other members of the group were arrested. They were accused of connection to foreign enemies for the purpose of aerial bombardment of German armor works. Fr. Maier and others were sentenced to death for conspiracy to commit high treason. On March 22, 1945, the very last execution day before the liberation of Vienna, Fr. Heinrich Maier was beheaded by guillotine in the Vienna Regional Court. His last words were, “Long live Christ the King! Long live Austria!”

Spiritual reading: We plant seeds that will flower as results in our lives, so best to remove the weeds of anger, avarice, envy and doubt, that peace and abundance may manifest for all. (Dorothy Day)


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