Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on May 2, 2014

Gospel reading of the day:

John 6:1-15

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large b0911bbf0d4536fa857ab06c75c93b75_w600crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

boy_in_the_rainReflection on the gospel reading: A small boy in a crowd of hungry people has a precious meal to sustain him. To the world, this boy is nameless and powerless: entirely dismissible. Yet it is his small gift which allows 5,000 to have their fill of loaves and fish, and an unimportant and forgettable boy’s contribution makes possible a story which has fed the hearts of countless millions across two millenniums. It is easy to believe we can do nothing of consequence and use our perceived impotence to do nothing, but Mother Teresa once said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.” But ironically, the boy’s effort to feed just one became food for 5,000 and subsequently sustenance for millions.

God uses unimportant people and insignificant actions to do God’s work. This happens all the time; even Jesus walked unmemorable dusty paths as an itinerant preacher in the backwaters of an unimportant country, culminating his ministry ignominiously on a cross with the death of a criminal.

The little boy’s ministry calls us to recognize we all are instruments in God’s hands, and it calls us to recognize that the people who surround us, whom we count of little importance, are in truth carrying something from God. The boy, his loaves, and his fish are evidence that of the Talmud’s prescription, “He would saves a life, saves a world entire.” God does great things with what the world considers mean and of little account.

sandra-da-catalogo-prova-1-2-webSaint of the day: The Servant of God Sandra Sabattini was born in Riccione, Italy on August 19 1961 into a faith-filled family. When she was four, her parents, younger brother, and she moved into a rectory to live with her maternal uncle. Very sensitive to the problems of social justice social, even at a young age she spent her free time in volunteering for the poor and living at the same time an intense life of prayer. When she was 10, she started to keep a diary; the opening words of her diary are, “Life lived without God is a pastime, boring or fun to play with waiting for death.

At age 12, he met Don Oreste Benzi, founder of the Community of Pope John XXIII, thanks to some meetings that her uncle organized in the parish. She became a member of the organization. In the summer of 1974 she took part in the summer camp for teenagers in the house “Madonna delle Vette” in Canazei, along with boys with severe disabilities. Sandra came home thrilled by this experience and committed to serving people with Sandra Sabattinidisabilities. She liked to spend time in silence, nurturing her relationship with God, so she got up early in the morning to meditate while it was still dark in the church before the Blessed Sacrament. At dusk, she spent another hour in prayer. She prayed and meditated always sitting on the ground as her sign to God of her humility and poverty.

After she graduated from high school where she emphasized scientific studies, she entered the University of Bologna to study in the School of Medicine. The Community of Pope John XXIII provided therapeutic activities for recovering addicts, and Sandra spent her summer in 1982 and 1983 working with the boys. The boys in therapeutic recovery felt that she loved them with a pure love that inspired them to rediscover the meaning of their lives. 62743250_129194471248Don Oreste Benzi wrote about her, “The love of Sandra for the Lord and for life was reflected in all who come in contact with her: her person radiated joy and enthusiasm that led to Jesus.”

On April 29, 1984, she, her boyfriend, and another friend were on their way to a gathering of the Community of Pope John XXIII. When she got out of the car, she was struck by another car. She died of her injuries on May 2 in a hospital in Bologna. In 1985, Don Oreste Benzi edited a first edition of Sandra’s diary; in 2003, the second expanded edition was published with an account of her life. In September 2006, the Bishop of Rimini, Monsignor Mariano De Nicolò, introduced the cause of canonization of the Servant of God Sandra Sabbattini and opened the process to investigate her life, virtues, and reputation for holiness. The diocesan phase of this investigation ended in 2009 when the documentation was forwarded to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.

Spiritual reading: To see ourselves as we truly are—a wisp of love itself—is perhaps our deepest fear. But it is also our greatest grace. If we are to be the new human, we must begin by embracing love, which always seeks to incarnate itself. Love is enfleshed everywhere. Everywhere the Holy One is shouting and whispering, ‘Let me love you.’ And all that is asked of us is to receive. In reality, that is our life’s work. Nothing more, and certainly nothing less. (Judy Cannato)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: