Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on March 28, 2014

Jesus and scribesGospel reading of the day:

Mark 12:28-34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, He is One and there is no other than he. And to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Reflection on the gospel reading: A passage that describes the commandments to love God and neighbor ends with the observation, “No one dared to ask him any more questions.” In Christian life, love is the last answer. We can strive to attend religious services, say our prayers, and do whatever else we believe our baptism requires of us, but in the end, what matters is love of God and love of neighbor. Without these, everything else we do is meaningless. Nothing else can be said: love is the last word.

Saint of the day: Born in October 1839 in Valletta, Malta, Venerable Adelaide Cini was 18 years old when she went to knock at the door of the Convent of St. Catherine in Valletta. The nun who met her was impressed to see in front of her this thin weak daughter of a wealthy Adelaide Cinipasta factory owner seeking to become a postulant nun. The older woman became convinced of Adelaide’s spirituality, but because Adelaide was emotionally stressed following a marriage proposal that her parents objected to, the nun could only be sympathetic to Adelaide’s request. She advised her to return to her home and wait for God to show her the real nature of her vocation.

Adelaide may not have understood the message but she certainly remembered it some time later when by accident she came across a young Sicilian prostitute who was becoming known for her professional success among some affluent members of society. Adelaide’s efforts to befriend this woman were successful; Adelaide soon persuaded her to move in and live with her at her parent’s home. This unusual friendship proved providential. The Sicilian woman soon afterwards quit her line of work, a transformation that encouraged Adelaide to start on a new missionary movement among the numerous abandoned girls from the economically distressed classes of the Maltese society. With the financial help of John Aspen and his wife Angelica, she opened the first home for unmarried mothers. After the death of her father, Adelaide turned his pasta factory into a conservatory for the more needy girls. Adelaide died on March 28, 1885 and was declared venerable in 1910.

Spiritual reading: The litmus test of our love for God is our love of neighbor. (Brennan Manning)

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