Being Grateful!
Malvern Minute

 

August 18, 2017 – Friday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

God’s mercy endures forever. 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 Book of Joshua (24:1-13)

Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem, summoning their elders, their leaders, their judges and their officers. When they stood in ranks before God, Joshua addressed all the people:  “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: In times past your fathers, down to Terah, father of Abraham and Nahor, dwelt beyond the River and served other gods. But I brought your father Abraham from the region beyond the River and led him through the entire land of Canaan. I made his descendants numerous, and gave him Isaac. To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. To Esau I assigned the mountain region of Seir in which to settle, while Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.

“Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and smote Egypt with the prodigies which I wrought in her midst. Afterward I led you out of Egypt, and when you reached the sea, the Egyptians pursued your fathers to the Red Sea with chariots and horsemen. Because they cried out to the LORD,
he put darkness between your people and the Egyptians, upon whom he brought the sea so that it engulfed them. After you witnessed what I did to Egypt, and dwelt a long time in the desert, I brought you into the land of the Amorites who lived east of the Jordan. They fought against you, but I delivered them into your power. You took possession of their land, and I destroyed them, the two kings of the Amorites, before you. Then Balak, son of Zippor, king of Moab, prepared to war against Israel. He summoned Balaam, son of Beor, to curse you; but I would not listen to Balaam. On the contrary, he had to bless you, and I saved you from him. Once you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho, the men of Jericho fought against you, but I delivered them also into your power. And I sent the hornets ahead of you that drove them (the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites and Jebusites) out of your way; it was not your sword or your bow.

“I gave you a land that you had not tilled and cities that you had not built, to dwell in; you have eaten of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.”

 

Reflect: I gave you a land that you had not tilled and cities that you had not built, to dwell in; you have eaten of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant. Joshua was called by God to lead Israel to their promised land. He gathers everyone together for a review of the faithfulness of God. Despite their own unfaithfulness, with countless trips and falls, God did not abandon them. He was ever faithful to his promise. In the psalm response (Psalm 136) today, we exclaim: “His mercy endures forever.” So it is.  God is ever faithful to us.  There may be times when we wonder if he hears us. There may be times when fear, discouragement or apathy leads us to sin. There may be times when the distractions of the world take our eyes away from God. Regardless, our God is ever faithful, ever merciful. There is nothing that can nullify God’s love for us. He gave us life. He gives us unique gifts. He blesses us daily with breath, with our senses, with our intellect, with a heart that can love and care for others. God gives us Jesus, our Savior, who will never take back his sacrifice for us on the cross; his resurrection that defeats the power of sin and death. There is really nothing about our lives that we can’t trace back to God’s infinite love and mercy. May the Holy Spirit touch our hearts today to be aware of, thankful for and determined to make good use of all that God so generously bestows upon us. Truly, his mercy endures forever!

Questions: Have I paused today to thank God for the many ways that I am blessed, gifted, called? Can I begin to catalogue the mercies and faithfulness that God has shown to me during my own earthly journey? What is the one blessing that I want to begin with to thank God for today?

Pray: Loving God, you are the source of all that I have and all that I am. Thank you for your love, your faithfulness and your mercy.  Help me to have a grateful heart that is quick to recognize you and enthusiastically sings your praise without tiring.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Thus says the Lord: Let whoever is thirsty come to me and drink. Streams of living water will flow from within the one who believes in me.

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

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