How Can I Be Saved?
Malvern Minute

 

May 23, 2017 – Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Let us rejoice and be glad and give glory to God, for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Alleluia!

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (16:22-34)

The crowd in Philippi joined in the attack on Paul and Silas,
and the magistrates had them stripped
and ordered them to be beaten with rods.
After inflicting many blows on them,
they threw them into prison
and instructed the jailer to guard them securely.

When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell
and secured their feet to a stake.

About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying
and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened,
there was suddenly such a severe earthquake
that the foundations of the jail shook;
all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose.

When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open,
he drew his sword and was about to kill himself,
thinking that the prisoners had escaped.
But Paul shouted out in a loud voice,
“Do no harm to yourself; we are all here.”

He asked for a light and rushed in and,
trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas.
Then he brought them out and said,
“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus
and you and your household will be saved.”

So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house.
He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds;
then he and all his family were baptized at once.
He brought them up into his house and provided a meal
and with his household rejoiced at having come to faith in God.

 
Reflect: What must I do to be saved? The pagan jailer was entrusted with securing and guarding the prisoners, Paul and Silas. They had already been beaten. They were, then, placed into the innermost cell, and their feet were bound and attached to a stake in the ground. But they prayed. They prayed mightily; and the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, unleashed a powerful blessing over them that no cell, no rope, no stake, no keys, no armed jailer could contain. In experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit upon that place and the willingness of Paul and Silas to remain there was just too much of a witness for the jailer. His heart was touched; he took Paul and Silas to his own home and family (at the risk of being tortured, jailed or even killed for dereliction of duty); bathed their wounds; requested baptism; and the household rejoiced in coming to faith in God. Wow! The power of the Spirit of God is awesome, unpredictable and ever generous. What must we do to be saved? Most of us are already baptized, catechized and confirmed; yet, God is inviting us to something more. During these final weeks of Easter, as we prepare to receive the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, our God wants to fall afresh on us, to renew us, to strengthen us, and to love us beyond imagining. May God give us the grace to turn over those stubborn areas of sin, our own listless spirit, our apathy, our fears, so that we can be alive in the Spirit!

Questions: How might I need to experience a conversion of heart and renewal from the Holy Spirit?  What are the areas that are holding me back from being fully alive for Christ? Can I commit to a simple prayer in the days leading to Pentecost: Come, Holy Spirit! Fall afresh on me and fill my heart with the grace that I need most in my life right now.

Pray: Loving God, heal my tired, broken heart. Take away from me anything that is not of you. Send forth your Spirit and renew my heart, mind and spirit so that I can generously serve you and praise you with all my being.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

I will send to you the Spirit of truth, says the Lord; he will guide you to all truth.  Alleluia!

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ENCOUNTERING THE DIVINE PHYSICIAN (Gospel of Luke 5: 17-26)

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