Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on April 12, 2014

Gospel reading of the day:

John 11:45-56

Many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what Jesus had done began to believe in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and said, “What are we going to do? This man is performing many signs. If we leave him alone, all will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our land and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing, nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish.” He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to kill him.

jesus-condemned-by-michael-obrianSo Jesus no longer walked about in public among the Jews, but he left for the region near the desert, to a town called Ephraim, and there he remained with his disciples. Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before Passover to purify themselves. They looked for Jesus and said to one another as they were in the temple area, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast?”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Sometimes we get into situations that are much larger than we are. We view extraordinary events through a prism that is not large enough to assess the situation, ignore the evidence, and look for shortcuts. These shortcuts put us into corrupt situations that encourage our conformity to the view of a group, even when perhaps the view of the group makes us uneasy. We think, “It must be okay, since this is the normative view in my group.” We cannot rise to respond with freshness and originality, question the evidence, take the long view, and trust that God is at work in the situation. Ordinary people suddenly are doing terrible things, driven by the requirements of the state or our group. When the Sanhedrin judged Jesus as a threat to the stability of the people, they simply missed the mark because they were not able to rise above their small categories.

Saint of the day: Teresa of the Andes was born as Juanita Fernandez Solar in Santiago de Chile on July 13, 1900. When she had completed her schooling, she entered the Carmelite monastery of Los Andes in order to make a hidden offering of her life for humankind. Having taken the name Teresa of Jesus, she had been in the monastery for just eleven months when she died of a painful illness on April 12, 1920. On the day of her death, and ever since, huge crowds of people were mysteriously drawn to Los Andes. They go in search of one who knew how to love.

Her life had been brief and simple but filled with love. In a letter to her brother Luis dated June 11, 1919, shortly after she had entered the monastery, she wrote, “How fortunate I am to sacrifice all for God! But this all is nothing in comparison to what Our Savior sacrificed for us, from the crib to the Cross, from the Cross even to humbling Himself completely under the form of bread. He, wholly God, under the species of bread, and even to the consummation of time. Oh the grandeur of infinite love! A love which is not known, a love which is unreturned by the majority of men. . . . You ask me to assure you in my letters that I love you always as a sister. Do you doubt it for an instant? Perhaps you do not know that my heart is perfected by the divine love, and the more perfect it is, the greater and more profound is my love? Well, then, do not doubt for a moment that I pray for you and that my prayer is a song of love . . . . When one is in love, he cannot talk about any other object than his beloved. And when the beloved unites in himself every possible perfection, what then? I do not know how I can do otherwise than contemplate him and love him. What do you want, if Jesus Christ, that Madman of love, has driven me mad? I endure a martyrdom, Luis, when I see noble and well born hearts, hearts capable of loving what is good, not loving the immutable Good . . . ..”

From the time she was a child, St Teresa of Jesus spoke familiarly with God and with Mary. She learned to be faithful to the Lord, and to use her natural human talents accordingly. She achieved a balanced life, serenity and maturity, all of which are anxiously sought after in the world today.

Spiritual reading: Christ so foolish in his love, has driven me madly in love. (Teresa of the Andes)


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