Thought for the Day – 24 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“The Gospel is the books of books, for it contains, not the words of men but the words of God.
In the beginning, the Word of God was made man ad became the life-giving Word during His earthly life.
Thus we have the written Word in the Sacred Scriptures.
When we read the Gospel, we should imagine that Jesus is there before us, so that we can hear the Words from His divine lips and feel the breath of His life and the fire of His love.
“In heaven” says St Augustine, “Jesus continues to speak to us on earth through His Gospel.”
His Words are the bright stars which should gude men – often wandering in the darkness of error or engulfed in the abyss of sin – through the way of virtue and goodness towards Heaven.
The more one penetrates the Gospel, the more one gets to know Jesus Christ.
St Augustine writes that the Gospel is another way, which Jesus has chosen, of remaining among us.
The same holy Doctor does not hesitate to say, that “he who scorns even of these sacred words, would be no less guilty, than if he let the Blessed Eucharist fall on the ground through negligence.”
When we read the sacred pages, we begin to understand the infinite goodness of Jesus.
We see Him whimper and suffer in the manger at Bethlehem; we see Him humbly working as a poor labourer in the workshop in Nazareth; we see Him pardon Magdalene and the penitent adulteress; we see Him restore life to the dead, sight to the blind and health to all kinds of sick people; in the supper room, we see Him give us Himself, under the veil of the Blessed Eucharist, at the very moment when He was forgotten, denied and betrayed; we see Him in the Praetorium before Pilate, where He was scourged for our sins; we see Him on Calvary dying on a cross for us, forgiving His crucifiers and promising Heaven to the penitent thief and, finally, we see Him rising from the dead and ascending gloriously into Heaven, where He went to prepare a place for us, should we persevere as His faithful followers, “I go to prepare a place for you” (Jn 14:2).
The Saints often read and meditated on the Gospel.
It provided spiritual food for their souls.
In the life os St Philip Neri, we read, that during his last years, he read nothing but the Gospels, especially the Gospel of St John, which treats profoundly of the love of God.
Do you read the Gospels?
With what dispositions and with what results do you read it?
In modern times, unfortunately, very few read it at all.
That is why so many stray so far from the spirit of Jesus and why, they often display a material form of piety, insipid and useless, in the practice of the Catholic life!”
Antonio Cardinal Bacci