Love in Deed
Malvern Minute

 

A Minute from Malvern

 

January 5, 2018  Friday before Epiphany

Saint John Neumann, Bishop

A holy day has dawned upon us. Come, you nations, and adore the Lord. Today a great light has come upon the earth. 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 first Letter of Saint John (3:11-21)

Beloved:
This is the message you have heard from the beginning:
we should love one another,

unlike Cain who belonged to the Evil One
and slaughtered his brother. 
Why did he slaughter him? 
Because his own works were evil,
and those of his brother righteous. 
Do not be amazed, then, brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. 
We know that we have passed from death to life
because we love our brothers.
Whoever does not love remains in death.
 
Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer,
and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him.
The way we came to know love
was that he laid down his life for us;
so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

If someone who has worldly means
sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion,
how can the love of God remain in him? 
Children, let us love not in word or speech
but in deed and truth.

Now this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth
and reassure our hearts before him
in whatever our hearts condemn,
for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything. 
Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us,
we have confidence in God.

Reflect: Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth. There is a saying that “deeds speak louder than words.” Today’s first reading reminds us that true love consists not in some sweet and fancy words, but rather by showing compassion to someone in need. How do we know how to love? We learn by looking at Jesus, the innocent Lamb of God who gave his life for us in our need: he died so that we who are wounded by sin might know the fullness of life. At Christmas, we celebrate the Light of the World, Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. He is Pure Love. As followers of Christ, our call is to bring his light into the world. It is to those people and places overshadowed by the darkness of the world that most need the Light. They count on us to be the instruments of Christ’s light. Our great temptation is to hold back and do nothing because of fear, inconvenience, or apathy. Saint John Neumann, an unimpressive (by the world’s standards) Bohemian immigrant, was scorned and rejected in many ways, but he cooperated with God’s grace to be a light to the Church and this country. We commemorated his example today. May we have the grace to step in to help others, trusting that God will do a great work if we but only walk in his light!

Questions: Do I let Christ’s love and light guide and direct my works? What stops me from reaching out to people in need? What opportunities for love and charity, to be a light, is God placing into my life?

Pray: Loving God, you are perfect love. Send out your Holy Spirit to touch my heart and mind so that I might understand how to be a genuine instrument of your love, hope and charity especially for people in need.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Saint John Neumann: Pray for us!

John came to the United States in 1836 to serve as a priest in western New York. He joined the Redemptorists and was their superior in Baltimore when he was elected Bishop of Philadelphia in 1852. The unrefined prelate who spoke with a Bohemian accent was not widely accepted by Philadelphia’s high society. Regardless, he worked tirelessly. Under his leadership, the Catholic schools in Philadelphia grew from two to one hundred. He established the diocesan system of Catholic schools in the USA. On average, he founded a new parish once a month. Following eight years of intense pastoral service, he collapsed and died on a Philadelphia street in 1860. John Neumann was canonized in 1977 as the first male American saint.


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

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