Getting our Hearts Right
Malvern Minute


June 15, 2017 – Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you. Alleluia!

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (

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

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (5:20-26)

Jesus said to his disciples:
I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother,
Raqa, will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.

Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”

Reflect: Go first and be reconciled with your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Jesus’ challenge to his disciples is to surpass the scribes and Pharisees. In other words, we aren’t to just keep God’s commandments for show or for self-satisfaction. Rather, he is asking that we have a keen awareness about the disposition of our heart. Harboring anger, resentment, unforgiveness – even if we appear faithful in everything else – is unacceptable.  If we want to be right with the Father, we are obliged to forgive, to be reconciled with another who has anything against us. Only then is our prayer, our offering, our reception of the Eucharist acceptable and honorable to God. This requires an ongoing process, but our sincere examination of conscience should be essential to an authentic celebration of Eucharist. Jesus calls us to do the right things for the right reasons. Let us go before the Lord with hearts set right before our God.

Questions: Do I make time to take stock in my relationship with others before I go before the Lord?  With whom do I need to seek reconciliation? Do I ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten me to be aware of how my heart may not be right before God?

Pray: Loving God, purify my heart with your love. Increase in me an awareness of how I hold on to anger, resentment and unforgiveness. Help me to desire to reconcile myself with you and with my brothers and sisters so that I may honor you with a heart free of burdens and entanglements. I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my saving strength.                                     



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