Malvern Minute – Tuesday
Malvern Minute


February 7, 2017 – Tuesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (

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

A Reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (7:1-13)

When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus,
they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.
(For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews, do not eat without carefully washing their hands,
keeping the tradition of the elders. And on coming from the marketplace
they do not eat without purifying themselves. And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed, the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds.)
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders
but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?” He responded, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written:

This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines human precepts.

You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.” He went on to say,
“How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition!

For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother, and Whoever curses father or mother shall die.
Yet you say, ‘If someone says to father or mother, “Any support you might have had from me is qorban”‘ (meaning, dedicated to God), you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother. You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things.”

Reflect: “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Jesus knows hearts, and, more than anything, he wants our hearts to be in union with his. Given our human condition, it can become easy for us to do the right things for the wrong reasons. We can be easily persuaded to “perform” for the sake of tradition or human praise, but fail to embrace the true purpose for which God asks us to follow him and to be faithful to his commandments. We hear about the creation story from Genesis (chapter 1) in the first reading today. After creating man and woman and the entire world around them, “God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good.” We were created for good by the Greatest Good and he draws us back to him. May our thoughts, actions, words and intentions today honor God with all of our heart.

What is my motivation when I do good things? Is it about me or is it about God in me? Do I desire to give glory and honor to God by my actions or to raise my own stock or credibility in the eyes of others?


Pray: Loving God, you are the source of all that I have and all that I am. Take my heart and unite it with yours. Purify my intentions. May all that I do and say be directed for your honor and glory.  I ask this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Holy God; Holy and Mighty One; Holy and Immortal One: Have mercy on us and on the whole world!



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