St. John of God
When John was eight years old, he ran away from his home in Portugal. Such impetuousness and recklessness were to characterize his entire life.
After traveling to Spain the youngster fell sick. He was cared for by the manager of a large estate who eventually adopted him.
John worked as a shepherd until he was in his late twenties. Then, pressured to enter a loveless marriage, he enlisted in the Spanish army to fight against France.
Like many men in his regiment, the young soldier drank, gambled and carried on. Then one day he was thrown from his horse near French lines. Fearing he would be captured or killed John promised to reform his life if he survived.
He did . . . . and he did.
At age 40, he decided to risk martyrdom by traveling to Africa to help ransom Christian captives. But at the deck, he met a family being exiled for political intrigue. He offered to be their servant. Years later, the family was pardoned, and John returned to Spain. Always a voracious reader, he became a book peddler, traveling from village to village selling religious books and holy cards.
But John soon fell back into some of his old ways, until one day when he heard John of Avila preach on repentance. Again, John was so remorseful about how he was living that he rededicated his life to God. He devoted his life to the poor, establishing a hospital built on alms he received.
He died on this day in 1559 at age 55, when he fell ill after saving a drowning man.
John of God is patron of booksellers and of hospitals.
While Jesus was still speaking Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a large crowd, with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests and the elders of the people. His betrayer had arranged a sign with them, saying, The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him. Immediately he went over to Jesus and said, Hail, Rabbi! and he kissed him. Jesus answered him, Friend, do what you have come for. Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. (Mt. 26:47:50)
No matter how many times weve heard it, theres still a shock when we see one of the Twelve leading a crowd with swords and clubs to seize Jesus and send him to his death.
The real jolt comes from the fact that Judas had a close personal relationship with Jesus. Judas also had a close relationship with the other members of the Twelve. They were a small, close-knit group.
A close relationship gone sour whether its parents and grown children, husbands and wives, longtime close friends is always a sad story.
Later that night, when Jesus was in his holding cell at the high priests house and everyone was asleep, Jesus must have turned this over and over in his mind. What went wrong between me and Judas? Is there anything I could have done to prevent this?
It was too late. He was a prisoner, and tomorrow theyd surely kill him. Hed never see Judas again in this life. Its a sad story.
Lord, help me to stay close to you.
Spend some quiet time with the Lord.