Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, Resurrection by Mike on April 28, 2014

Gospel reading of the day:

John 3:1-8

There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him.” esus answered and said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

f2490eb4a693c112a4fea0e5bff1ba39_w600JNicodemus said to him, “How can a man once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?” Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born of water and Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: The life of flesh is dedicated to tearing down barns and building larger ones. It is the great toil of years spent preparing for a happy retirement with many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry but ignoring God in every present moment along the way. The life of the spirit, however, is a life spent rich in what matters to God.

Saint of the day: Cleusa Carolina Rody Coelho was born in Brazil in 1933. She joined the the Congregation of the Augustinian Recollect Missionaries in 1952. In 1979, she was sent to Labrea, in the Amazon, to be the directress of the St. Rita College. There, she developed a friendship with the poor indigenous people, who were abused by landowners. IRMA CLEUSA 1Out of love for them, Sr. Cleusa asked to leave the school to work with the Native people. She defended the Indians from persecution, and because of this, many wanted her silenced. The police were angered with the nun because she worked for the release of innocent imprisoned Indians and wanted to kill her.

In April 1985, a non-indigenous person, whose name was Damasio, entered the land of the Indians to collect wood. Agustin, an Indian, reported this infraction to a foundation which promotes the rights of the Indians. So the wood collected by Damasio was confiscated and given to Native people for their use. As an act of revenge, Raimundo Povidem, an Indian who was with Damasio, killed Agustin’s son and daughter. When Sr. Cleusa learned of the news, she decided to go to Agustin to comfort him and prevent more bloodshed. The other sisters tried to stop Sr. Cleusa because of the dangers inherent in her decision, but she nevertheless decided to go.

When Sr. Cleusa arrived in the place where Agustin lived, she advised Agustin to stay and remain calm, because she intended report the incident in Labrea. Sr. Cleusa and a companion returned to Labrea by boat. While on their way, they were stopped by Raimundo Povidem. A year before, Sr. Cleusa took care of Povidem because he was ill. Cleoza Carolina Rody CoelhoWhen Sr. Cleusa recognized Povidem, she asked him to talk. But he shot Sr. Cleusa’s Indian companion, who was wounded. Sr. Cleusa told him to flee, because he still has a wife and children to take care of. He fled to the forest, where he spent the night. Then he went to the missionaries and told them of the incident. A search party was made, and Sr. Cleusa’s body was found on May 3, by the river bank. The missionaries first noticed a flock of vultures in a bush near the river. So, they followed the vultures and saw Sr. Cleusa’s body. The autopsy revealed that Sr. Cleusa suffered beatings before she was shot to death. Her right arm was never found again. Sr. Cleusa was buried immediately. In her funeral, an Indian woman mourned, “Who will take care of us now? She was our mother!”

Spiritual reading: And I said to the one who stood at the gate of the year, “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the Unknown.” And he replied, “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.” (Minnie Haskins)


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