GOSPEL LIVING

Thursday September 19,2019

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1Corinthians 12:31--13:13   Psalms 33:2-3, 4-5, 12, 22   Luke 7:31-35

31 "To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the market place and calling to one another, `We piped to you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not weep.' 33 For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine; and you say, `He has a demon.' 34 The Son of man has come eating and drinking; and you say, `Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' 35 Yet wisdom is justified by all her children."
Meditation: What do childrens' games have to do with the kingdom of God? Games are the favorite pastime of children who play until their energy is spent. The more interaction the merrier the game. The children in Jesus' parable react with disappointment because they cannot convince others to join in their musical play. They complain that when they make merry music such as played at weddings, no one dances or sings along; and when they play mournful tunes for sad occassions such as funerals, it is the same dead response. This refrain echoes the words of Ecclesiastes 3:4, there is a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance. Both joyful and sad occassions – such as the birth of a child and the homecoming of a hero or the loss of a loved one and the destruction of a community or nation – demand a response. To show indifference, lack of interest or support , or disdain, is unfitting and unkind.
Jesus' message of the kingdom of God is a proclamation of good news that produces great joy and hope for those who will listen; but it is also a warning of disaster for those who refuse to accept God's gracious offer. Why did the message of John the Baptist and the message of Jesus meet with resistance and deaf ears? It was out of jealously and spiritual blindness that the scribes and Pharisees attributed John the Baptist's austerities to the devil and they attributed Jesus' table fellowship as evidence for messianic pretense. They succeeded in frustrating God's plan for their lives because they had closed their hearts to the message of John the Baptist and now they close their ears to Jesus.
What can make us spiritually dull and slow to hear God's voice? Like the generation of Jesus' time, our age is marked by indifference and contempt, especially in regards to the things of God's kingdom. Indifference dulls our ears to God's voice and to the good news of the gospel. Only the humble of heart who are hungry for God can find true joy and happiness. Do you listen to God's word with expectant faith and the willingness to trust and obey?

 

Saint of the day "St Francis Mary of Camporosso"

In the cemetery in Genoa a statue of Blessed Francis Mary may be seen which bears the following inscription: "Francis of Camporosso was born December 27, 1804, and died on September 17, 1866. This poor man in Christ was more blessed in giving than in receiving. With bread and advice and consolation, he was ever prepared to minister to the sufferings and needs of all who came to him. His austere and holy life he crowned with the sacrifice he made of himself at the beginning of the epidemic of 1866. The sorrow and gratitude of the people prompted them to immortalize his image in this marble statue."It needed but a few words to say all that one could wish to have said of this apostle of the people. As a shepherd in the little village of Camporosso near San Remo he was obliged to contribute to the support of his family. Later he joined the Capuchins an Genoa. There he clothed his ideals and intentions in the words: "I came to the convent to be its beast of burden."
The opportunity was presented to him to carry out his intentions when he was made infirmarian, and especially when he was appointed to collect alms. He called at the palaces of the nobles, but oftener at the huts of the poor in order to distribute to them the alms he had just begged. He ventured to go into the ill-famed quarters of the seaport, where he would pick up the stones thrown at him and kiss them. Soon it was reported of him from all sides that he was working miracles, cures, and conversions of a most unusual kind. People of rank as well as the lowliest souls came to him to seek advice.His love for our Blessed Lady was most touching. He spent entire nights on his knees before the Blessed Sacrament. When an epidemic broke out in 1866, he was seized with the desire to make his last and most magnanimous sacrifice. He knelt before the altar of the Immaculate Virgin, and through her hands offered himself to God as a victim of expiation. On September 17th, he departed this life as a victim. The epidemic ceased that very day. He was beatified by Pope Pius XI and canonized in 1962 by John XXIII.