GOSPEL LIVING

Sunday September 23,2018

Previous Reflection Next Reflection

Wisdom 2:17-20   Psalms 54:3-4, 5, 6-8   James 3:16--4:3   Mark 9:30-37

30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he would not have any one know it; 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, "The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, after three days he will rise." 32 But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to ask him. 33 And they came to Caper'na-um; and when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you discussing on the way?" 34 But they were silent; for on the way they had discussed with one another who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve; and he said to them, "If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all." 36 And he took a child, and put him in the midst of them; and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me."
Meditation: Today is the 25th Sunday of the Liturgical Year. The three readings of the day are best connected and understood, if we have in our mind the story of Abel and Cain, as a background. Abel’s prayer and offering were received, since he was righteous. But, Cain’s was not received because of his wickedness and he become jealous and wanted to bring down the righteous. It well goes with today’s First Reading : Wis. 2:12,17-20.
The upright man is always the envy of others, for he makes others jealous, because of his upright and holy life. He is thus an easy target/victim for attacks; the simple reason being his uprightness. But, still he is mostly concerned only of the precepts of the Lord.
But, a quick glance of the world today gives us the correct impression that the people, old and young, are desirously ambitious and jealously schemers/conspirators. The justifiable reason they give is the edging technology and the competitive atream of life. The result is a restless generation, living in peacelessness. That is rightly indicated by St. James in his letter today ast eh second Reading Jas.3:16-4:3. “Jealousy and ambition bring disharmony and wickedness.” “The desires fight inside one’s own selves.”
The prayers become unheard because prayers brim with indulgence for passions. The prayers lacks purity. The case of Cain was exactly the same. Herein comes the Gospel of the day, where Jesus invites all to have a child-like innocence and purity; an openness and docility. (Mk. 9:36,37).
Ability to accept and incorporate the Spirit of God, working in the lowliness of others, is needed as a pre-requisite for the entrance to the Kingdom of God. God always supports the life of the upright (today’s Responsorial Psalm) and protect them from the scheming of the jealous and ambitious. Today, being the World-Deaf day, let’s specially offer all the deaf to the healing touch of God and plead for the special intercession of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, to open their ears (“epphatta”) to the Word of God.
Bro Fidelis

 

Saint of the day "St. Padre Pio 1887-1968"

Padre Pio, in the world Francesco Forgione, was born in Pietrelcina near Benevento, on 25 May 1887. He entered as a cleric in the Capuchin Order on 6 January 1903 and was ordained a priest on 10 August 1910, in the Cathedral of Benevento. On 28 July 1916, he came to San Giovanni Rotondo, on the Gargano, where, except for a brief interruption, he remained until his death on 23 September 1968.
On the morning of Friday, 20 September 1918, praying before the Crucifix in the choir of the old church, he received the gift of the stigmata, that remained in his body, fresh and bleeding, for half a century.
During his life, which was dedicated entirely to the fulfillment of his priestly ministry, he founded the "Prayer Groups" and a modern hospital to which he gave the name "The Home for the Relief of Suffering".  The diocesan process for his canonization, begun on 20 March 1983, was concluded on 21 January 1990. All the many documents gathered and compiled in 104 volumes were consigned to the Congregation for Causes of Saints. On 13 June 1997, the Theological Commission, unanimously expressed a favorable opinion on the heroicity of the virtues of the Padre; and the following 21 October, the same favorable opinion, equally unanimous, was issued by the Commission of Cardinals.
The Holy Father John Paul II granted the title of Venerable, with the publication of the "Decretum super virtutibus" on 18 December 1997. From this aforementioned decree we would like to reproduce the introduction:  " 'But far be it from me to glory except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus’ - Gal 6,14.

"Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, like the Apostle Paul, placed the holy Cross, which was his strength, his wisdom and his glory at the apex of his life and his apostolate. Free from the vanities of the world and enamored of Jesus Christ, he conformed himself to Him, offering up his life for the salvation of the world. His following and imitation of the divine victim was so generous and perfect that he could say: 'I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me’ - Gal 2,19. Nor did he wish to keep for himself the treasures of grace, which God conceded him in abundance; so without rest he served those who came to him through his sacred ministry and there grew a great multitude of spiritual children". 
After the publication of the aforesaid Decree, the Postulation for the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of Padre Pio presented to the competent Vatican Congregation an occurrence held to be miraculous that took place through the intercession of the Padre.The miracle was recognized by the Pope, after the approval of the three commissions canonically required. The Medical Consultations of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which met on 30 April 1998, examined the cure of Mrs Consiglia De Martino from "a traumatic rupture of the thoracic duct in the neck", that took place on 3 November 1995, and with a unanimous vote (5 out of 5) judged it "scientifically inexplicable".
The Theological Commission, that consisted of the Promoter General of the Faith and six theological consultants, on 22 June 1998, examined the same extraordinary fact and, after detailed discussion, expressed themselves clearly in the affirmative (7 votes out of 7), qualifying it a third degree miracle or quoad modum. The same favorable opinion was expressed by the Commission of Cardinals in the month of October of the same year. Finally the Pope officially recognized the miracle with the Decree of 21 December 1998 and fixed the date for the Beatification for Sunday, 2 May 1999. He was canonized on 26 February 2002 by John Paul II.