Malvern Minute – Thursday
Malvern Minute

 

February 23, 2017 – Thursday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr

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 Sirach (5:1-8)

Rely not on your wealth;
say not: “I have the power.”
Rely not on your strength
in following the desires of your heart.
Say not: “Who can prevail against me?”
or, “Who will subdue me for my deeds?”
for God will surely exact the punishment.
Say not: “I have sinned, yet what has befallen me?”
for the Most High bides his time.
Of forgiveness be not overconfident,
adding sin upon sin.
Say not: “Great is his mercy;
my many sins he will forgive.”

For mercy and anger alike are with him;
upon the wicked alights his wrath.
Delay not your conversion to the LORD,
put it not off from day to day.

For suddenly his wrath flames forth;
at the time of vengeance you will be destroyed.
Rely not upon deceitful wealth,
for it will be no help on the day of wrath.

 
Reflect: Delay not your conversion to the Lord. Our God is kind and merciful, but we shouldn’t falsely convince ourselves that we can do whatever we want because God will always be there to forgive us.  God wants to forgive. Jesus died so that our sins might be forgiven; yet we need to have genuine repentance for our sins.  We wound the heart of Christ when we sin. If we want God’s forgiveness, we need to let him know that we are sorry for our sins, ask for forgiveness, and desire not to sin again. The best way for us to experience the fullness of God’s love, mercy and forgiveness is through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Confession. God’s arms are always open to receive us, like in the story of the Prodigal Son, but we have to do our part to seek him, to repent. We are guaranteed only today. Let’s not delay our conversion, our return to the Lord, our formal confession of sin.

Do I carry a less than serious concern about examining my conscience and recognizing where I need forgiveness? When was the last time I went to confession? Is there a priest or church I can call today to ask for an appointment to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation? (Most priests will go out of their way to accommodate this kind of request.)

 

Pray: Loving God, may I have the grace to recognize my sinfulness and the courage to seek your forgiveness. I ask this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Saint Polycarp: Pray for us!

(Saint Polycarp is a second century martyr considered to be an Apostolic Father meaning that he was instructed directly by one of the apostles. He was taught the faith and given example by Saint John.)

 

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

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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