Malvern Minute
Malvern Minute

Today’s Daily Reflection

From Mark Poletunow

Every day, Mark Poletunow, Malvern Retreat House’s President, takes time to reflect and pray about the daily reading. Take a minute to join him as he illuminates the scriptures.


A Minute from Malvern 
May 24, 2018 - Thursday of the Seventh Week of Ordinary Time, Lectionary: 344
Father John Meyers, Rector
Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

Reading 1 Jas 5:1-6

Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries.
Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten,
your gold and silver have corroded,
and that corrosion will be a testimony against you;
it will devour your flesh like a fire.
You have stored up treasure for the last days.

Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers
who harvested your fields are crying aloud;
and the cries of the harvesters
have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.
You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure;
you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter.
You have condemned;
you have murdered the righteous one;
he offers you no resistance.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 49:14-15ab, 15cd-16, 17-18, 19-20

  1. (Matthew 5:3) Blessed are the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!
    This is the way of those whose trust is folly,
    the end of those contented with their lot:
    Like sheep they are herded into the nether world;
    death is their shepherd and the upright rule over them.
    R. Blessed are the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!
    Quickly their form is consumed;
    the nether world is their palace.
    But God will redeem me
    from the power of the nether world by receiving me.
    R. Blessed are the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!
    Fear not when a man grows rich,
    when the wealth of his house becomes great,
    For when he dies, he shall take none of it;
    his wealth shall not follow him down.
    R. Blessed are the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!
    Though in his lifetime he counted himself blessed,
    "They will praise you for doing well for yourself,"
    He shall join the circle of his forebears
    who shall never more see light.
    R. Blessed are the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!

Alleluia See 1 Thes 2:13

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Receive the word of God, not as the word of men,
    but as it truly is, the word of God.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 9:41-50

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink
because you belong to Christ,
amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.
"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,
it would be better for him if a great millstone
were put around his neck
and he were thrown into the sea.
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
It is better for you to enter into life maimed
than with two hands to go into Gehenna,
into the unquenchable fire.
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off.

It is better for you to enter into life crippled
than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
Better for you to enter into the Kingdom of God with one eye
than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,
where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.
"Everyone will be salted with fire.

Salt is good, but if salt becomes insipid,
with what will you restore its flavor?
Keep salt in yourselves and you will have peace with one another."

-In my youth the musical “Fiddler on the Roof” was quite popular as a stage play and as a film.  Among the many memorable songs in it was the lament of a poor dairy farmer “If I Were a Rich Man”  The letter of James recalls the question, “Would it spoil some vast eternal plan if I were a wealthy man?”  Most of us do not see ourselves as wealthy (or poor) but comfortable.  It is the clinging to comfort that endangers us.  As Pope Benedict XVI says, “We are not meant for comfort but for greatness”.  Wayne Mueller wrote a boog entitled, “How Shall I Live?” that is based on four simple questions:

  1. Who am I?
  2. What do I love?
  3. How shall I live, knowing that I shall die?
  4. What is my gift to the children of the earth?

You need not read the book, but spending time with these questions can make your life and the lives of others much better

-This Gospel does not advocate dismemberment as the solution to moral problems.  It uses hyperbole to point out that there is greater evil in even the smallest sin than any defects of the body.  Looking good is so highly valued in our times, much more than doing well.  Self-discipline in sports and other endeavors needs to be brought to bear on our personal lives.  Undisciplined curiosity leads to addiction to pornography, for example.  Both vice and virtue are habits.  What we practice we become. 

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Late President of the Bi-Lo Stores

PRAYER: To Acquire the Virtues, by Thomas Aquinas

O God,
all-powerful and all-knowing,
without beginning and without end,
You Who are
the source,
the sustainer,
and the rewarder of all virtues,

Grant that I may
abide on the firm ground of faith,
be sheltered by an impregnable shield of hope,
and be adorned in the bridal garment of charity.

Grant that I may
through justice
be subject to You,
through prudence
avoid the beguilements of the devil,
through temperance
exercise restraint,
and through fortitude
endure adversity with patience.

Grant that
whatever good things I have,
I may share generously
with those who have not
and that
whatever good things I do not have,
I may request humbly
from those who do.

Grant that I may
judge rightly
the evil of the wrongs I have done
and bear calmly
the punishments
I have brought upon myself,

and that I may
never envy my neighbor’s possessions
and ever give thanks for Your good things.

Grant that I may always observe modesty
in the way I dress,
the way I walk,
and the gestures I use,
restrain my tongue from frivolous talk,
prevent my feet from leading me astray,
keep my eyes from wandering glances,
shelter my ears from rumors,
lower my gaze in humility,
lift my mind to thoughts of heaven,
contemn all that will pass away,
and love You only.

Grant that I may subdue my flesh
and cleanse my conscience,
honor the saints and praise You worthily,
advance in goodness,
and end a life of good works with a holy death.

Plant deep in me, Lord, all the virtues,
that I might be
devout in divine matters,
discerning in human affairs,
and burdensome to no one
in fulfilling my own bodily needs.

Grant to me, Lord,
fervent contrition,
pure confession,
and complete reparation.

Order me inwardly through a good life,
that I might do
what is right
and what will be
meritorious for me
and a good example for others.

Grant that I may
always restrain my foolish impulses,
yet never succumb to lethargy,

Lest I begin things before I should
or abandon them before finishing.



Father John



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