How can we implement the Gospel? Although this is a difficult question, it is a very important one to answer. For us Christians, it is not enough to hear the Gospel. We are called to put it to action in our own life. Sometimes it is difficult to take action. How should one do it? The good news is that we are not alone in answering this question. We have examples of many who have asked it themselves and used their lives to answer it. Every time the Catholic Church declares a person blessed or a saint, she gives us an example of how the Gospel can be lived. Blesseds and saints are role models for our faith journey. Even if every one of us has to find out individually what God is calling us to and how to live the Gospel, the blesseds and saints can help us learn how to answer this call. How can the soon-beatified Pallottine Father Richard Henkes, S.A.C. be an example for our life and for our quest for God? When I read Fr. Henkes’ biography, I learned that he tried to live out the Gospel even when it seemed inconspicuous and less effective. Three situations in his life illustrate this.
Elsheimer Adam, Glorification Of The Cross
Constantine was still wavering between Christianity and idolatry when a luminous cross appeared to him in the heavens, bearing the inscription, "In this sign shalt thou conquer." He became a Christian, and triumphed over his enemies, who were at the same time the enemies of the Faith.
Its not easy and often we are not rewarded. We are like Paul. Once we have heard God in our hearts, we must spread God's Good News. This is an impulse of grace. Paul's admonition not to expect anything in return is so realistic. We all need support in ministry whether its caring for our family, others in the workplace, or speaking out about issues of injustice. Instead of expecting a grand applause or a plaque, we can look for small words of thanks and encouragement.
Col 3:12-17; Lk 6:27-28
Codex von Rossano um 600
“...If one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.” (Col. 3:13) As God’s chosen ones, we are invited to “put on” heartfelt compassion, kindness…bearing with and forgiving one another. And in the Gospel from Luke; “To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27-28)
Sermon on the mount, E.Thor. Carlson
Jesus looked up at his disciples and said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets. But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets. Lk 6:20-26
Luke said (in v. 17), “He came down and stopped at a piece of level ground.” From that point to the end of chapter 6 is therefore called ‘The Sermon on the Plain’, in contrast to Matthew’s ‘Sermon on the Mount’ (Mt 5-7). But it is the same sermon, with differences. In Luke’s gospel the mountain is a place of prayer or revelation; it is as if he doesn't want the crowds to go up there, so he brings Jesus down!
"He spent the night in prayer to God"
We cannot find God in noise or agitation.... In silence He listens to us; in silence He speaks to our souls. In silence we are granted the privilege of listening to His voice:
Silence of our eyes.
Silence of our ears.
Silence of our mouths.
Silence of our minds.
In the silence of the heart
God will speak.
Sister Hanna Kiedrowska takes up the daily work in the Procura General in Rome. However, apart from the fact that she cooks well, she is also a real apostle reaching the hearts of those she encounters. Among other things, she supports the families of children suffering from SMA and receiving medical assistance at the Bambino Gesù Clinic. During her last visit to Poland, in Jurata, in the church Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Sr. Hanna participated in the Holy Mass with families struggling with this disease. At the invitation of Fr. Marcin Nowak, the President of Poland Andrzej Duda and his wife also participated in the Eucharistic celebration.
Sr. Hanna personally thanked the Presidential Couple for reimbursement of medicine in Poland and help given the children in need.
Large crowds were travelling with Jesus; and he turned and said to them "Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.' Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions. Lk 14:25-33
Today’s gospel might be hard to comprehend. What about Christianity and family values? Jesus says that whoever comes to him to be a disciple should hate his own family and even himself. But I do not hate my family. I care for my mother who’s been disabled by a stroke. In fact, caring for my mother could even be considered part of my Christianity. She took care of me all her life, and now I take care of her. That seems like the Christian thing to do. It seems like the right thing to do. And I stay around here to do that. Does Jesus think I should abandon my own mother, who needs constant care now? I hope not, but maybe.
Psalms 54:3-4, 6, 8
Last night I picked tomatoes and eggplants and peppers from our garden (and in turn provided sustenance to the hordes of flood hatched mosquitoes which have recently inhabited our area). The pears are ripe and the apples are so heavy on the trees that the branches bend low to the ground. The grape vines have never been so full. As I usually do when I am wandering around my little corner of the world, outside in our garden and orchard, I gave a simple prayer of thanks - thanks to God that my efforts have borne fruit because God's design enables my work to result in good things. I also thought about what I am going to do with all those apples, but that is a good problem to have.