Increase Our Faith
Malvern Minute

 

November 13, 2017 – Monday of the Thirty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin

 

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 Luke (17:1-6)

 

Jesus said to his disciples,
“Things that cause sin will inevitably occur,
but woe to the one through whom they occur. 
It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck
and he be thrown into the sea
than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.
Be on your guard!
If your brother sins, rebuke him;
and if he repents, forgive him.
And if he wrongs you seven times in one day 
and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’
you should forgive him.”

And the Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you would say to this mulberry tree,
‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

 

Reflect: And the Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” After listening to Jesus speak challenging words about repentance and forgiveness, the Apostles implore him: “Increase our faith.” A desire for authentic repentance and the willingness to forgive “seven times in one day” comes from the grace of God. We are able to repent and offer forgiveness only as we grow in faith, trusting in God. Repentance requires the awareness that our actions, choices, thoughts and desires impact our relationship with God as well as the world around us (including our brothers and sisters). Genuine forgiveness can only come from someone who is formed by the heart of God. As we hear in today’s first reading from the Book of Wisdom: “Love justice, you who judge the earth; think of the Lord in goodness, and seek him in integrity of heart.” Truly, as we seek the Lord, he will give us the grace to forgive, to seek justice, to live with integrity. It doesn’t mean that repentance and forgiveness will always be easy; however, it does mean that our hearts will become disposed to desire what God desires, to follow in the ways that Jesus teaches us. May we sincerely ask the Lord to increase our faith so that our lives and the world around us may be transformed by the power of his mercy and love.

 

Questions: Do I ask the Lord to increase my faith especially when I find it difficult to ask for forgiveness or to forgive others? What is one sin that I need to place before the Lord and take into the Sacrament of Reconciliation? Who is someone that I find difficult to forgive even once let alone seven times in one day? Can I ask God to help me with forgiving that person?

 

Pray: Loving God, help me to grow in faith. Often, I feel weak and find it difficult to repent of my sin and to forgive others. Help me to trust you, and to believe that I can conquer all things with your grace.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

                                                                                                             

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini: Pray for us!

Frances was born in the Lombardy region of Italy. She was the youngest of thirteen children. At the age of twenty-seven, she took private religious vows. Later, she founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Her desire was to evangelize in China, but Pope Leo XII advised her to go to the west. She arrived in New York in 1889 and established an orphanage for children of Italian immigrants. Frances labored for twenty-eight years and was the founder of schools, hospitals, orphanages, and a prison ministry. She established sixty-seven institutes of the Order in the United States, Europe, Central and South America. Frances died in Chicago in 1917. In 1946, she became the first U.S. citizen to be canonized. She is the patroness of immigrants and migrants.

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

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