It’s All About the Body
Malvern Minute

 

November 7, 2017 – Tuesday of the Thirty-First  Week of Ordinary Time

Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest, says the Lord. Alleluia, 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 Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans (12:5-16ab)

 

Brothers and sisters:
We, though many, are one Body in Christ
and individually parts of one another.
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us,
let us exercise them:

if prophecy, in proportion to the faith;
if ministry, in ministering;
if one is a teacher, in teaching;
if one exhorts, in exhortation;
if one contributes, in generosity;
if one is over others, with diligence;
if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let love be sincere;
hate what is evil,
hold on to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection;
anticipate one another in showing honor.

Do not grow slack in zeal,
be fervent in spirit,
serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope,
endure in affliction,
persevere in prayer.

Contribute to the needs of the holy ones,
exercise hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you,
bless and do not curse them.

Rejoice with those who rejoice,
weep with those who weep.
Have the same regard for one another;
do not be haughty but associate with the lowly.

 

Reflect: Let love be sincere; hate was is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. Saint Paul is providing us with a mini-guidebook about living in community, in the Church, as the Body of Christ.  This entire reading is jammed with rich phrases that could provide spiritual food for us to gnaw on in any given day. More than anything, Paul wants to establish and reinforce that none of us are walking alone; the Christian life is a journey with many others. If we love Christ, then we are called to love the brothers and sisters that God has put into the world with us. All of us are blessed with different gifts, but together we glorify God and work for the advancement of his Kingdom, the presence of his Body, here on earth.  That is why it is so important for us to be extremely conscious of the other. As the Body of Christ we are called to be focused on the other – loving sincerely and selflessly, hating evil, clinging to what is good, anticipating the needs of the other, blessing those who curse us, treating everyone equally and justly, not being haughty, and paying attention to the lowliest of our brothers and sisters. That’s quite a tall list to accomplish, but Paul encourages us to not give up: “Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.” If we are to live as the Body of Christ, we must breathe the same breath that he breathes. When we persevere in prayer, take time to be still and listen to his voice, worthily and consciously participate in the sacraments, meditate on his Holy Word, and immerse ourselves in his Church, we will be filled and sustained with his life-giving breath. None of us can accomplish this alone: we need to be strongly connected to Jesus, as the head, and supported by all the members of the Body, our brothers and sisters. May we desire it and live it so that we might have life to the full!

 

Questions: Am I continuously conscious of the needs of the other members of the Body of Christ? Do I sincerely desire good, justice and honor for all people regardless of who they are and what they can provide for me? Who might be one person, or group of people, that the Lord is challenging me to love better today?

 

Pray: Loving God, you welcome me to be connected to you as part of your Body. Help me be zealous in loving others, fervent in seeking your Spirit, focused on serving the needs of others, full of endurance in affliction, filled with hope, and perseverance in prayer.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

                                                                                                             

God sent his Only Begotten Son into the world, so that we might have life through him.

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

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