Learning the Lessons of Love
Malvern Minute


November 8, 2017 – Wednesday of the Thirty-First Week of Ordinary Time

If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of God rests upon you. 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 (13:8-10)


Brothers and sisters:
Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another;
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

The commandments, You shall not commit adultery;
you shall not kill;
you shall not steal;
you shall not covet,

and whatever other commandment there may be,
are summed up in this saying, namely,
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Love does no evil to the neighbor;
hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.


Reflect: Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law. How could it be possible that Saint Paul, in today’s first reading, speaks of love, and in today’s Gospel passage from Saint Luke (14:25-33), Jesus speaks so harshly: “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”  We can’t understand Saint Paul unless we uncover the meaning of the Gospel.  Jesus’ message focuses on the importance of properly placed priorities. No relationship, no matter how important, should be an idol. God should hold first place in all things and at all times. It is only by giving God proper order, that everything else, including our relationships, will be properly ordered. To be able to truly love, to do no evil to another, to be selfless, is learned through accepting the hope and strength of God’s grace, and to rely entirely upon him in every situation and at every moment.  Inevitably, the cross will be embedded in life simply by living out whatever we are called to live; we can try to run away, but there’s no escaping. Remarkably, however, as we trust in Jesus to carry the cross with and for us, he will not only sustain us, but also form our hearts to love others more sincerely, purely and selflessly. Accepting and living the cross gives us the heart of Jesus. It is only with the heart of Jesus that we can love without doing evil to ourselves and to the other. May we love others with the heart of Jesus!


Questions: What is the state of my heart? Do I love and trust God as I should? Do I try to learn from Jesus so that I can approach every relationship, every interaction with another, according to the heart of Jesus?  What one step can I take today to forgive another, to seek forgiveness for my offenses toward another, or to stop treating someone as an object for my own gain, pleasure or convenience?


Pray: Loving God, give me a heart that desires to run to you, so that I might desire to put my life completely in your hands. Show me the way to love so that I can be a faithful disciple who works with you in building your Kingdom here on earth.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.


You will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence, O Lord.



Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our website for details:  MalvernRetreat.com


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