Choosing to be Among the Few
Malvern Minute

 

June 27, 2017 – Tuesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop, Doctor of the Church

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 holy Gospel according to Matthew (7:6, 12-14)

Jesus said to his disciples:
Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine,
lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the Law and the Prophets.

Enter through the narrow gate;
for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction,
and those who enter through it are many.
How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.
And those who find it are few.”

 

Reflect: How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few. If we have our goal set on heaven and eternal life, it’s good to know the odds.  We don’t get there simply because we believe that it seems a whole lot better than the alternative – hell. The way to the Kingdom of God is narrow and many lose their way in trying to get there. In this gospel, Jesus is clear: We receive many priceless gifts from God, don’t throw those valuable gems into the pigpen. We live in a wonderful world created by God with countless opportunities. Within this world, however, sin abounds. There are numerous ways that we can be led off-track. Immersing ourselves with Jesus and his word leads to eternal life. Immersing ourselves with the ways of the world leads to eternal condemnation, everlasting death. We can try to convince ourselves that straddling between the things of heaven and those of this world is perfectly fine, but it’s self-destructive. It’s something like throwing into the trash a vast treasure trove of pearls one pearl at a time. We have to intentionally choose what is ultimately important for us. We don’t get to heaven pointing our fingers at others or comparing ourselves to the greater sinners in our midst. We’ve got to be concerned about choosing the narrow road and staying on path toward the Kingdom of God – today, and choosing again tomorrow and the next day.  Is it worth the journey? Those who find it are few.

Questions: Where do I want to be at the end of my earthly journey? Am I straddling between the way of Jesus and the attractive dead-end options in this world? What choices do I need to make to get myself on track with Jesus today?

Pray: Loving God, you embraced the cross so that I might have the grace for everlasting life. Help me to have the conviction to follow you with my whole heart, and the perseverance to stay on the narrow path even when it costs me the things of this world. May my eyes be fixed on you today, tomorrow and every day of my life. I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Saint Cyril of Alexandria: Pray for us!

Saint Cyril was a great defender of the faith in the fifth century. He defended the title of Mary as “Theotokos” (God-bearer) at the Council of Ephesus. He was renowned for his Christological explanations, and revered in the East as the “guardian of exactitude”. Cyril significantly supported the growth of monasticism in Egypt. He died in 444 and was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII in 1882.                                     

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