Malvern Minute  – Wednesday
Malvern Minute

 

August 17, 2016  – Wednesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time                                                        

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

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

Ezekiel 34:1-6

The word of the Lord came to me:
Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel,
in these words prophesy to them to the shepherds:
Thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the shepherds of Israel
who have been pasturing themselves!

Should not shepherds, rather, pasture sheep?
You have fed off their milk, worn their wool,
and slaughtered the fatlings,
but the sheep you have not pastured.
You did not strengthen the weak nor heal the sick
nor bind up the injured.
You did not bring back the strayed nor seek the lost,
but you lorded it over them harshly and brutally.
So they were scattered for the lack of a shepherd,
and became food for all the wild beasts.
My sheep were scattered
and wandered over all the mountains and high hills;
my sheep were scattered over the whole earth,
with no one to look after them or to search for them.

Reflect: God loves his sheep and requires that anyone with authority over the sheep should care for them tenderly, justly and respectfully – just like he would. Whether in the days of Ezekiel or 2016, God expects that anyone given authority – religious, civic or private – over his people should consider the needs of the people before one’s own, and conduct oneself as if willing to even put down one’s life for the good of those under one’s care.  In the Gospel today, Jesus portrays the justice of God as generous beyond imagining – paying the workers hired late in the day the same wage as those hired at dawn.  As believers, we have a great responsibility to live out the authority and justice of God in every circumstance. We are not commissioned function in a dual reality – one spiritual and another worldly.  God’s ways are not our ways, but his ways are the ones that lead to salvation, the conversion of hearts and the realization of his Kingdom in our midst.

Do I believe that my faith should be lived out equally whether in church or in my earthly responsibilities? Can I put into practice the justice of God even if it defies human logic? Is it worth putting my life on the line for the sake of God’s Kingdom and his people even if it means appearing less in the eyes of the world?

Pray: Loving God, I thank you for all that I have. I acknowledge you as the source of all that I have and all that I am. I entrust everything about this day to you and to your glory. I pray this in the powerful, perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Immortal, have mercy on us!

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

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