Help me to live your Gospel

Woe unto You, Scribes and Pharisees, James Tissot, Brooklyn Museum
Lord, it is too late for you to be quiet,
    you have spoken too much;
    you have fought too much;
You were not sensible, you know, 
    you exaggerated, it was bound to happen.
You called the better people a breed of vipers;
You told them that their hearts were black sepulchers
    with fine exteriors;
You kissed the decaying lepers;
You spoke fearlessly with unacceptable strangers;
You ate with notorious sinners,
    and you said that the street-walkers would be the first in Paradise;
You got on well with the poor, the tramps, the crippled;
You belittled the religious regulations;
Your interpretations of the Law reduced it to one little commandment: 
    to love.
Now they are avenging themselves.
They have taken steps against you;
    they have approached the authorities and action wlll follow.
Lord, I know that if I try to live a little like you,
     I shall be condemned.
I am afraid.
They are already singling me out.
Some smile at me, others laugh, some are shocked, 
    and several of my friends are about to drop me.
I am afraid to stop,
I am afraid to listen to men’s wisdom.
It whispers: you must go forward little by little,
    everything can’t be taken literally,
    it’s better to come to terms with the adversary . . .
And yet, Lord, I know that you are right.
Help me to fight,
Help me to speak,
Help me to live your Gospel,
To the end,
To the folly of the Cross.
Michel Quoist,1918 – 1997, French Catholic priest and writer
Prayers of Life

Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 
Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, 
    it remains only a single seed. 
    But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 
Anyone who loves their life will lose it, 
    while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 
Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. 
My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

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