A Lesson in Boasting
Malvern Minute

 

November 10, 2017 – Friday of the Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Leo the Great, Pope and 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 Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans (15:14-21)

 

I myself am convinced about you, my brothers and sisters,
that you yourselves are full of goodness,
filled with all knowledge, and able to admonish one another.
But I have written to you rather boldly in some respects to remind you,
because of the grace given me by God
to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles
in performing the priestly service of the Gospel of God,
so that the offering up of the Gentiles may be acceptable,
sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to boast in what pertains to God.
For I will not dare to speak of anything
except what Christ has accomplished through me
to lead the Gentiles to obedience by word and deed,

by the power of signs and wonders,
by the power of the Spirit of God,

so that from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum
I have finished preaching the Gospel of Christ.
Thus I aspire to proclaim the Gospel
not where Christ has already been named,

so that I do not build on another’s foundation,
but as it is written:

Those who have never been told of him shall see,
and those who have never heard of him shall understand.

 

Reflect: Those who have never been told of him shall see, and those who have never heard of him shall understand. Paul’s zeal for Jesus Christ resounds in this passage from the Letter to the Romans. He is clear about his allegiance: “In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to boast in what pertains to God. For I will not dare to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplish through me…” His entire heart and soul is dedicated to revealing Jesus to the world, and to keeping on track those who have already heard the message of salvation. Underlying today’s message is Paul’s desire to continue being a missionary disciple. He is determined to reach those who have never heard about or seen the truth of Jesus Christ.  Paul wants to be a living witness so that many others can come to love Christ and be saved by the power of his Spirit. As he shares the desire of his heart with the Romans, he is also encouraging them and us to take up the mission. We are not to just sit and wallow in the grace that God has given us, or the knowledge of Jesus Christ; rather, we are to go out to the world to give witness to Christ and to make more disciples. The work of the New Evangelization is for us who have experienced Christ to share what we have received with many others. May the zeal of Paul catch fire in our own hearts!

 

Questions: Am I inclined to boast in Christ or about my self? Am I taking up the call to be a missionary disciple for Jesus Christ in the world today? What might be one way that I can make Christ known with my life today?

 

Pray: Loving God, you are the source and summit of my life. May I seek you with all my heart and desire to make you know by the way I live, the things I say and the attitudes I project.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

                                                                                                             

Saint Leo the Great: Pray for us!

Leo was from the Tuscany region of Italy. He was elected Pope in 440, and was renowned as a great defender of the Faith. He countered many heresies. As he presided at the Council of Chalcedon, his work on the two natures of Christ was adopted as the Church’s dogma regarding Christology. Leo is recognized as one of three popes given the title “the Great” and a Doctor of the Church. Many of his prayers are preserved and still used in the Roman Missal. Leo died in 461. He was responsible for saving Rome from marauding Huns and Vandals who were intent on destroying the city.

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