Malvern Minute – Tuesday
Malvern Minute

 

December 13, 2016 – Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent

Saint Lucy, Virgin 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 holy Gospel according to Matthew (21:28-32)

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
“What is your opinion?
A man had two sons.
He came to the first and said,
‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’
The son said in reply, ‘I will not,’
but afterwards he changed his mind and went.
The man came to the other son and gave the same order.
He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go.
Which of the two did his father’s will?”
They answered, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you,
tax collectors and prostitutes
are entering the Kingdom of God before you.
When John came to you in the way of righteousness,
you did not believe him;
but tax collectors and prostitutes did.
Yet even when you saw that,
you did not later change your minds and believe him.”

 

Reflect: Image can control our lives.  We want to look good and appear to be doing the right things. But appearance can sometimes be just a thin veneer covering over something very different. In today’s first reading from the Book of the Prophet Zephaniah, we hear: “For then I will remove from your midst the proud braggarts, and you shall no longer exalt yourself on my holy mountain. But I will leave as a remnant in your midst a people humble and lowly, who shall take refuge in the name of the Lord.” In the Gospel, Jesus is driving home the point that many people who seem to have sinful lives are really the ones who came to God because their hearts were disposed to receive and act on his message; while the elders of the people, who should have known better, had hearts and minds closed to Jesus’ pronouncement of the Kingdom of God. Advent is about preparing our hearts to receive Jesus and his message. As we enter these final days before Christmas, we need to ask God for the grace to be more concerned about him and his message and much less concerned about our image and how we appear before others.

How can I yield to Jesus so that he becomes the center of my life – and my self-importance diminishes? The tax collectors and prostitutes recognized their need for forgiveness; can I accept how much Jesus wants to forgive me and lead me to him no matter how long I’ve been away from him or how serious is my sin?

 

Pray: Loving God, help me to have a poor and humble heart that is ready to receive you and make you known in the world. I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen

Saint Lucy: Pray for us!

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

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