A Divine Dose of Encouragement
Malvern Minute

 

June 12, 2017 – Monday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Rejoice and be glad; for your reward will be great in heaven. 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 beginning of the second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians (1:1-7)

Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
and Timothy our brother,
to the Church of God that is at Corinth,
with all the holy ones throughout Achaia:
grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all encouragement,
who encourages us in our every affliction,
so that we may be able to encourage
those who are in any affliction
with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.

For as Christ’s sufferings overflow to us,
so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow.
If we are afflicted,
it is for your encouragement and salvation;
if we are encouraged,
it is for your encouragement,
which enables you to endure the same sufferings that we suffer.
Our hope for you is firm,
for we know that as you share in the sufferings,
you also share in the encouragement.

 

Reflect: God encourages us in every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction. Affliction can throw us for a loop. Even if we know that we are not alone in our suffering, just the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual pain can sometimes feel as if it’s too much to handle. Paul knew that not only the early Church followers were facing many challenges for professing Jesus Christ, but they were also human beings who were facing ordinary and extraordinary life challenges that could saturate everyday life. It was so important, then, to remind the believers that God is full of compassion for his children and that he will never leave us as orphans. Similarly, in today’s gospel (Matthew 5:1-12) Jesus teaches the beatitudes. He encourages us: “Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”  There is no way that any of us can maneuver through the twisted pathways of this world, this life without experiencing suffering and persecution. Our God, however, encourages us to trust and believe that he is imparting a lavish portion of blessings and graces over us at every minute of every day. By recognizing and receiving that encouragement, we are strengthened to be disciples who, in turn, can encourage many others who we encounter in the course of life. God is generous in giving his grace and encouragement. He wants to use us to bring home that message to others – especially the wounded, broken, hurting, alienated, suffering and anyone feeling overwhelmed by the burdens of life.

Questions: How might God be trying to encourage me today?  In what ways is Jesus calling me to be a disciple of encouragement for others? Who have been instruments of encouragement for me at challenging times in my life? Can I thank God today for his blessing me with the presence and words of various brothers and sisters throughout my life?

Pray: Loving God, as I call on you in my need, I ask that you help me to put one foot in front of the other. May the encouragement I receive today be the source of strength I need to bring your hope, light and encouragement to many others. I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; whom should I dread? When those who do evil draw near, they stumble and fall.           

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

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