GOSPEL LIVING

Saturday December 15,2018

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Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11   Psalms 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19   Matthew 17:9a,10-13

9a And as they were coming down the mountain 10 the disciples asked him, "Then why do the scribes say that first Eli'jah must come?" 11 He replied, "Eli'jah does come, and he is to restore all things; 12 but I tell you that Eli'jah has already come, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of man will suffer at their hands." 13 Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.
Meditation: The Jews believed that the Elijah would return as the forerunner of the Messianic age. There was a debate in the early church around the question: If Jesus is the messiah why has Elijah not come? These verses echo that strife. Jesus is here represented as saying that Elijah has come, not in reincarnation, but in striking likeness of the flesh and verity of the spirit.
Bit by bit this idea of the coming of Elijah gathered detail until the Jews came to believe that not only would Elijah come, but he would restore all things before the messiah came, that he would make the world fit for the messiah to enter into. The idea was that the Elijah would be a great and terrible reformer so also they thought of Messiah. Because the forerunner and the messiah were thought of  in terms of power.
But Jesus corrects them saying that the son of man has to suffer from their hands. It gives the clear indication that his way to restore all things is not that of power and might but that of suffering and dying.
It happens in our lives very often. We may dream for many colourful things and pray to God for the same to be achieved and accomplished. But Jesus warns us telling that “things will never go as the way that you want to be. There are indeed crosses hidden by all means you have to embrace it. Because it is the way that God wants us to be…so let us not always dream for glory but also for cross too.
Bro Dynish

 

Saint of the day "Blessed Mary Frances Schervier, virgin, III Ord"

"One is as it were rich, when one has nothing; and another is as it were poor, when he has great riches" (Prov 13,7). This passage of scripture fits the servant of God, Frances, who with all her heart espoused holy poverty and thus came into the possession of the grace of God.

Born in 1819, Frances Schervier was a descendant of a distinguished family in the old imperial city of Aachen or Aix-la-Chapelle. While she was perhaps not prominent in the eyes of the world, she enjoyed the distinction of extraordinary supernatural privileges from the very days of her youth. Her desire to enter a religious order was thwarted by the early death of her mother in 1832, when Frances was only 13 years old. She was obliged to remain at home and attend to the household. But she did not let these circumstances prevent her from caring in a very special way for the poor and the sick. So lavish was her liberality that one of the old servants once remarked, "One of these days the child will have dragged everything out of the house." Later she was an active member of several benevolent societies of women and also of what was known as St. John's soup kitchen, a charitable enterprise organized to feed the needy.

Frances joined the Third Order of St. Francis in 1844. Henceforth she and four other young women resolved to lead a community life. They found a dwelling at the old city gate of St. James, and took possession of their first religious abode on the eve of the feast of St. Francis in 1845. Prayer and works of mercy were their principal occupation. Mother Frances and her first companions - the number soon increased to 23 -- received the religious habit on August 12, 1851, and a new religious family was formed. Very appropriately she called the new congregation the Sisters of the Poor if St. Francis. The poverty of St. Francis and his love for the poor of Christ superseded everything else in the eyes of the foundress. On one occasion she wrote to her sisters: "The impress of poverty and penance should mark even our chapels and churches and be their distinctive feature."

The first foundation of the Sisters of the Poor of St. Francis in the United States was made in 1858. Twice Mother Frances came to the US, the first time in 1863 and the second time in 1868. During her first sojourn in this country, she joined here sisters in ministering to wounded soldiers of the Civil War and to the sick, the homeless, and the orphaned. The second time, while visiting the various institutions conducted by her sisters, she also lent a helping hand in caring for the sick, the aged, and the poor.

Mother Frances sacrificed everything for the poor out of love for God, and she was amply repaid by Him who cannot be outdone in generosity. Her foundation increased visibly, and to this day it enjoys the special blessing of Divine Providence. At her holy death on December 14, 1876, Mother Frances was mourned by thousands of daughters in religion as well as by the poor, and was venerated as a saint. Unusual conversions and other remarkable events occurred even during her lifetime in answer to her trustful prayer, and since her departure from this world, such things have happened even more frequently.