Malvern Minute – Monday
Malvern Minute

 

December 19, 2016 – Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent

 O Root of Jesse’s stem,

 sign of God’s love for all his people:

come to save us without delay

 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 (1:5-25)

In the days of Herod, King of Judea,
there was a priest named Zechariah
of the priestly division of Abijah;
his wife was from the daughters of Aaron,
and her name was Elizabeth.
Both were righteous in the eyes of God,
observing all the commandments
and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly.
But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren
and both were advanced in years.

Once when he was serving as priest
in his division’s turn before God,
according to the practice of the priestly service,
he was chosen by lot
to enter the sanctuary of the Lord to burn incense.
Then, when the whole assembly of the people was praying outside
at the hour of the incense offering,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him,
standing at the right of the altar of incense.
Zechariah was troubled by what he saw, and fear came upon him.

But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah,
because your prayer has been heard.
Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son,
and you shall name him John.
And you will have joy and gladness,
and many will rejoice at his birth,
for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.

He will drink neither wine nor strong drink.
He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb,
and he will turn many of the children of Israel
to the Lord their God.
He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah
to turn the hearts of fathers toward children
and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous,
to prepare a people fit for the Lord.”

After this time his wife Elizabeth conceived,
and she went into seclusion for five months, saying,
“So has the Lord done for me at a time when he has seen fit
to take away my disgrace before others.”

 

Reflect: You are my hope, O Lord; from my mother’s womb you are my strength.” (Psalm 71) Both readings today speak to us about couples struggling with being barren: the parents of Samson (Book of Judges, chapter 13) and the parents of John the Baptist (Luke, chapter 1). Yet, their faith cries out: God, you are our hope; you are our strength.  As we get closer to Christmas, we reflect intensely upon the emptiness of the world as well as our own incompleteness apart from God. Our hearts long to encounter God. No matter how sophisticated and advanced our world may be, we are empty without the presence of our Savior.

Is Jesus my hope and my strength? What am I searching for in life and where am I looking for it? How can I invite God into my life today to fill me with his love and to fulfill me with his presence?

 

Pray: Loving God, awake within me a desire for Jesus, his life and his words. May I welcome the Nativity of the Savior and honor it with a mind and heart made pure.  I ask this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen

He who is to come will come and not delay, and now there will be no fear within our land, for he is our Savior! (cf. Hebrews 10:37)

 

WE BELIEVE, AND THEREFORE SPEAK (2 Corinthians 4:13)

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

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