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 
July 20, 2018 - Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Father John Meyers, Rector
Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

Gospel Mt 10:16-23

Jesus said to his Apostles:
“Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves;
so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.
But beware of men,

for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak

but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.
When they persecute you in one town, flee to another.
Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel
before the Son of Man comes.”

-Jesus’ instruction to the Twelve continues with warnings about persecutions and difficulties along the way.  These words might have made them a bit nervous.  Being a sheep among wolves is not an attractive job description.  For the first three centuries of Christianity, the movement they represented was illegal and believers risked death in practicing their faith.  From that time through into the Protestant Reformation, the Church grew in stature and stability and for the most part the “Age of Martyrs” seemed over.  The murders of clergy in the French Revolution and the Communist conquest of Eastern Europe, the Cristero wars in Mexico and the many deaths of Christians in Islamic countries remind us that the age of martyrs is not over.  You and I may not face the death of the martyrs but we are called to live like them, clever and innocent due to the Holy Spirit at work in us.

Questions for Discussion & Decision:

  • If your life or livelihood were threatened because of your Catholic faith, could you remain firm in the faith and accept the consequences?
  • Not everyone who claimed to be Christian passed the test in the early days of the Church any more than now. Reconciling such betrayal was a difficult task.  How do you handle betrayal of those who claim to love you?
  • Have you ever read about the life and death of one of the martyrs of the Church?
  • The cultural and legal changes of the past fifty years suggest that our Catholic faith may once again become illegal. In some circles, Church teaching is already considered “hate speech” because we do no buy into the abortion and contraception industries; we reject same-sex marriage and “gender theory”.  What are you prepared to do about this very real possibility of the faith being outlawed?

Let us Pray!

Eternal Father, I humbly adore Thee, and thank Thee for having created me,

and for having redeemed me through Jesus Christ.

I thank Thee most sincerely for having made me a Christian,

by giving me the true faith,

and by adopting me as Thy son, in the sacrament of baptism.

I thank Thee for having, after the numberless sins I had committed,

waited for my repentance,

and for having pardoned (as I humbly hope) all the offences which I have offered to Thee,

and for which I am now sincerely sorry, because they have been displeasing to Thee,

who art infinite goodness.

I thank Thee for having preserved me from so many relapses,

of which I would have been guilty if Thou hadst not protected me.

But my enemies still continue, and will continue till death,

to combat against me, and to endeavor to make me their slave.

If Thou dost not constantly guard and succor me with thy aid,

I, a miserable creature, shall return to sin,

and shall certainly lose Thy grace.

I beseech Thee, then, for the love of Jesus Christ,

to grant me holy perseverance unto death.

Jesus, Thy Son, has promised that Thou wilt grant whatsoever we ask in his name.

Through the merits, then, of Jesus Christ, I beg, for myself and for all the just,

the grace never again to be separated from Thy love,

but to love Thee forever, in time and eternity.

From the allure of a culture, that does not know Thee,

Deliver me, O God!

From the seductions of material comforts,

Protect me, O God.

From fear of offending non-believers,

Deliver me, O God

for their sake as well as my own.

Grant me the grace to bear Thy presence into every time and place I go

so that those who meet me will desire to meet Thee.

Free me from fear of speaking the truth lovingly and loudly.

Deliver me from cowardice and human respect

That would mute the witness of my life.


Mary, Mother of God, pray to Jesus for me.


Father John


ENCOUNTERING DIVINE PHYSICIAN (see Gospel of Mark 5:21-43):

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