Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on April 10, 2014

Gospel reading of the day:

John 8:51-59

Jesus said to the Jews: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.” So the Jews said to him, “Now we are sure that you are possessed. Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? Or the prophets, who died? Who do you make yourself out to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is Lightworth nothing; but it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ You do not know him, but I know him. And if I should say that I do not know him, I would be like you a liar. But I do know him and I keep his word. Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.” So they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.

Reflection on the gospel reading: There is a sense among many faithful Christians that claims for Jesus’ divinity were a relatively late development in Christian theology, but that isn’t true. It is true that Christians had heated disagreements on this topic for several centuries, but a sense of Jesus’ identification with God developed very quickly even when people who knew him were still alive. The examples are not overt but they occur over and over again throughout the New Testament. For example, Jews never spoke the name of God, the tetragrammaton which God spoke on Mount Sinai when Moses asked God’s name. Rather than write God’s name, the Hebrew scriptures consistently use the word Adonai (that is, Lord) to refer to God. When the Hebrew scriptures were translated into Greek, the word they used for Adonai was Kurios. No one in the Greek rendering of the Hebrew scriptures was ever called Kurios but God, but it is the word Paul and the evangelists in the gospels use to refer to Jesus. There are scholars who have proposed that the Christological hymn in Philippians was composed in Jerusalem as early as five years after the crucifixion of the Lord. Few people other than scholars notice that in the hymn is a quote from Isaiah. The Philippians hymn asserts that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. But the line is not original to Philippians. Isaiah 45:23 quotes God saying, “To me every knee shall bend; by me every tongue shall swear.” The consistent message of the New Testament is that Jesus indeed is Kurios.

MoftheSaintsSaint of the day: Saint Michael of the Saints was born on September 29, 1591. He was a Discalced Trinitarian priest from Vic, Catalonia. Born Miguel Argemir, at the age of twelve, he went to Barcelona and asked to be received into the monastery of the Trinitarians there. After a three-year novitiate, he took his vows at that order’s monastery of St. Lambert at Zaragoza in 1607. After meeting a Discalced Trinitarian one day, he felt drawn to that congregation’s more austere lifestyle and, after much deliberation and the permission of his superior, he entered the congregation of the Discalced Trinitarians at Madrid as a novice. He then took his vows at Alcalá, became a priest, and was twice elected superior of the monastery at Valladolid, where he died on April 10, 1625. During his life, Michael de Sanctis led a life of prayer and mortification. He was devout towards the Holy Eucharist, and is said to have been experienced ecstasies several times during the institution narrative during the Eucharistic Prayer. Michael of the Saints was beatified in 1779 and canonized in 1862.

Spiritual Reading: A safe Jesus that demands nothing of us is a false god of comfort we invent to keep God from stirring us up to change! (Marcel LeJeune)


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