Malvern Minute – Thursday
Malvern Minute


August 4, 2016 – Memorial of Saint John Vianney, Priest                                                        

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President ( 

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

Matthew 16:13-23

Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
and he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,

and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples
that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly
from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.”
He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”


Reflect: At one moment, Jesus was praising Peter for his profession of faith and declaring that he would be an intimate part of the Church’s foundation. In the next moment, Jesus is calling Peter “Satan” and “an obstacle” for thinking not as God but as humans. This was yet another time that Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and his real message. It was a learning process. From the book of the Prophet Jeremiah in today’s first reading, we recall that the people of God struggled between faithfulness and unfaithfulness as well.  It reminds us of our own challenge to keep our eyes on Jesus and the fullness of his message at all times. St. John Vianney, whose memorial we commemorate today, shows that even though he was thought to be incapable of mastering his seminary studies and not prepared to be a priest, by keeping his eyes on Jesus and the truth of his message, he would overcome all of that and develop into an extremely holy man who is an example for all priests.

In what ways do I, like Peter, tend to view life not as God but as humans?  How can I put more trust in Jesus and develop spiritual insight to see life through his eyes?

Pray: Loving God, you call me to be in the world but not of the world. Help me with your grace to not be an obstacle to you, but rather a disciple who sees the world through your eyes and makes choices through the inspiration of your Holy Spirit. I pray this in the powerful, perfect name of Jesus. Amen.


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:

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