Malvern Minute
Malvern Minute

 

Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent

March 30, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

 

Book of the Prophet Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62

Psalm 23

John 8:1-11

 

In today’s Gospel narrative the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees arrest a woman who has been caught in the act of adultery.  They make her stand in front of everyone as they prepare to stone her to death in accordance with the Law of Moses.  However, before they begin they “test” Jesus and ask Him His opinion of the Law.  The goal of the Pharisees is to place our Lord in a dilemma.  They were hoping that he would “fail” the test in order to bring a charge against Him.   

Jesus bend’s down and began to write on the ground with His finger.  His response to their questions was, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  In response to Jesus’ answer they, “…went away one by one, beginning with the elders.”  Jesus asks, “Woman, where are they?  Has no one condemned you?”  Neither do I condemn you, and from now on do not sin any more.”  WOW!

Friends, did we just witness the very first celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation?  Let’s do the math.  The sin committed by the woman was adultery, the priest (Jesus) forgives the sin, and the penance was to sin no more.  Now doesn’t that sounds like the Sacrament of Forgiveness?

Jesus’ approach toward the sinful woman was not a legal one, like the Pharisees.  His approach was moral and personal.  Towards the end of the Gospel our Lord condemns the sin of adultery but forgives the sinful adulteress.  In other words, He teaches us to hate sin.  He is compassionate because He gives her (and us) another chance to repent and sin no more.  He challenges us to a life of holiness, atonement and reconciliation. 

Question of the Day:  Will you take advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation in order to receive God’s forgiving grace?

Prayer:  “When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance, so that your heavenly Father may in turn forgive you your transgressions.”  (Mark 11-25)    

Please continue to pray for the victims of the Coronavirus and for all who are affected by this unprecedented pandemic.

Prosit   

 

Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent

March 27, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

 

Book of wisdom 2:1a, 12-22

Psalm 34

John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

 

One of the most amazing things I have experienced in my life is something as simple as watching my children and now my grandchildren sleeping.  They are so beautiful and peaceful.  You can’t help but get a lump in your throat as you feel the love you have for them.

Have you ever wondered if God watches us while we sleep?  Of course He does.  What does He think about while He watches us?  Does He look at us and think of our potential or what we may accomplish in our lives in His name?  Does God plant seeds in our hearts as we sleep to guide us or steer us in a specific direction?

Sacred Scripture points out that one thing is certain.  We will all suffer trials in life and at times it may seem that the wicked are winning or being rewarded.  It would be easy to become bitter and loose faith and we may wonder if God is really seeing this.

So you have to wonder what Jesus thought.  The Son of God comes among us and those in power plot to kill Him.  The disciples actually appear clueless.  The people in Jerusalem say that, “You can’t be the Christ; we know where you are from!”  How frustrated Jesus must have been.  Did He question His mission or purpose?  Or did He trust God the Father and discern the innocent souls’ reward?

In times of trial where God seems distant and injustice seems to overcome us, we have a choice.  We can distance ourselves from God or move closer to Him.  It always seems to come down to faith and trust.

Lent offers us an opportunity to spend more time with God; a time that we should never waste.  After all, He watches us when we are awake too!

Question of the Day:  Do you have faith and trust in the Lord in good times and in bad? 

Prayer:  “Protect us Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and sleep, rest in peace.”  (Antiphon; Night Prayer, Divine Office)

Prosit 

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