Malvern Minute – Friday
Malvern Minute

 

April 14, 2017 – GOOD FRIDAY

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

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 Book of the Prophet Isaiah (52:13 – 53:12)

See, my servant shall prosper,
he shall be raised high and greatly exalted.
Even as many were amazed at him
so marred was his look beyond human semblance
and his appearance beyond that of the sons of man
so shall he startle many nations,
because of him kings shall stand speechless;
for those who have not been told shall see,
those who have not heard shall ponder it.

Who would believe what we have heard?
To whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
He grew up like a sapling before him,
like a shoot from the parched earth;
there was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him,
nor appearance that would attract us to him.
He was spurned and avoided by people,
a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity,
one of those from whom people hide their faces,
spurned, and we held him in no esteem.

Yet it was our infirmities that he bore,
our sufferings that he endured,
while we thought of him as stricken,
as one smitten by God and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our offenses,
crushed for our sins;
upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole,
by his stripes we were healed.

We had all gone astray like sheep,
each following his own way;
but the LORD laid upon him
the guilt of us all.

Though he was harshly treated, he submitted
and opened not his mouth;
like a lamb led to the slaughter
or a sheep before the shearers,
he was silent and opened not his mouth.

Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away,
and who would have thought any more of his destiny?
When he was cut off from the land of the living,
and smitten for the sin of his people,
a grave was assigned him among the wicked
and a burial place with evildoers,
though he had done no wrong
nor spoken any falsehood.
But the LORD was pleased
to crush him in infirmity.

If he gives his life as an offering for sin,
he shall see his descendants in a long life,
and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through him.

Because of his affliction
he shall see the light in fullness of days;
through his suffering, my servant shall justify many,
and their guilt he shall bear.

Therefore I will give him his portion among the great,
and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty,
because he surrendered himself to death
and was counted among the wicked;
and he shall take away the sins of many,
and win pardon for their offenses.

 
Reflect: But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins; upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed. Everything that Jesus came into the world for comes down to this: he embraces the passion and cross so that we can be healed and forgiven.  Of course, we know that his cross and death will lead to the victory manifest in the resurrection.  He did not take any short cuts; Jesus embraced the cross, together with all of the accompanying human anguish. Regardless, he said yes to all of it out of love for us – God desires to redeem his creation, humanity, us.  As we enter into the solemnity of this day, God invites us to be profoundly aware of the depth of his love for us.  He calls us to acknowledge our sins, but to repent because of his incomparable love for us. He wants for this grace, his love, to propel us into building his Kingdom on earth by sharing his love and mercy with us.  This great love of our God is not to be wasted or squandered, but to be shared, to animate others to know, love and serve him with every ounce of their being. Jesus does this for us. In turn, he calls us to be disciples to proclaim his love to others.

Questions: Have I stopped to consider how much Jesus really loves me? Do I accept God’s invitation to embrace the cross to share in Christ’s victory?  Since Jesus has given me so much, am I ready to be his disciple to show his love and mercy to others?

Pray: Loving God, you came into the world and shed your Blood from the cross. Give me the grace to appreciate all that you do for me. Redeemed by your love, help me to proclaim you as Lord through all that I do.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Christ became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every other name.

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

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