Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on May 9, 2014


Gospel reading of the day:

John 6:52-59

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my Flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

Reflection on the gospel reading: Those of us who worship in liturgical churches readily see a reference to the Eucharist in this passage, but unpacking the meaning of any text from the gospel always invites us to other reflections. The Father beckons us to model our lives on the pattern of the Lord’s life and subsume our identities into Jesus’ very being. Philippians observes that Jesus took about himself the condition of a slave in becoming one like us, but the scriptures also remind us that we have been made only a little lower than gods. Just as Jesus humbled himself to enter into all the confusion and brokenness of the human condition, the Father seeks to divinize us by our living lives modeled on Jesus’ complete gift of self. Here the Lord continues to join and renew his presence among in the world through all the ways in which we who as church are at once his body and his bride, and it is in this that he extends us his commitment never to leave us orphans.

Saint of the day: Born in 1500 in the Castile region of Spain, John of Avila was sent at the age of 14 to the University of Salamanca to study law. He later moved to Alcala, where he studied philosophy and theology before his ordination as a diocesan priest.

After John’s parents died and left him as their sole heir to a considerable fortune, he distributed his money to the poor. In 1527, he traveled to Seville, John of Avilahoping to become a missionary in Mexico. The archbishop of that city persuaded him to stay and spread the faith in Andalusia (southwestern Spain). During nine years of work there, he developed a reputation as an engaging preacher, a perceptive spiritual director and a wise confessor.

Because John was not afraid to denounce vice in high places, he was investigated by the Inquisition but was cleared in 1533. He later worked in Cordoba and then in Granada, where he organized the University of Baeza, the first of several colleges run by diocesan priests who dedicated themselves to teaching and giving spiritual direction to young people. He was friends with Sts. Francis Borgia, Ignatius of Loyola, John of God, John of the Cross, Peter of Alcantara, and Teresa of Avila. John of Avila worked closely with members of the Society of Jesus and helped their growth within Spain and its colonies. John’s mystical writings have been translated into several languages. John died in 1569. He was beatified in 1894, canonized in 1970, and declared a doctor of the Church in 2012.

Spiritual reading: To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurrying never. In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony. (William Ellery Channing)


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