Malvern Minute – Wednesday
Malvern Minute

 

January 4, 2017 – Christmas Weekday

Memorial of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

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 John (1:35-42)

John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God.”

The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
“What are you looking for?”
They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher),
“where are you staying?”
He said to them, “Come, and you will see.”

So they went and saw where he was staying,
and they stayed with him that day.
It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter,
was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him,
“We have found the Messiah,” which is translated Christ.
Then he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said,
“You are Simon the son of John;
you will be called Cephas,” which is translated Peter.

 

Reflect: Gifts mean something. For the one who receives, a gift is an affirmation or a sign to us of someone’s love, care or concern. For the giver, a gift is an expression that we appreciate the value of another. In many cases, when we receive a gift it can inspire us to extend goodness and kindness to others: we might even desire to “pay it forward”. Although we encounter the adult Jesus in the Gospel today, this reading is presented to us during the Christmas season (yes; it’s still the Christmas season!) as a way of reminding us that Jesus loves and affirms us and desires to gift himself to us – not just as a beautiful baby. After asking the disciples of John, ‘What are you looking for?’ Jesus invites them to spend time with him. Andrew is so deeply touched by that encounter with Jesus that he rushes to find his brother, Simon, to shout out the good news, ‘We have found the Messiah’! Jesus wants to gift us with his presence and he continually invites us to spend time with him. What a greater gift is there than to be in the presence of the Christ, the Savior?  Elizabeth Ann Seton, whom we commemorate today, was once a wealthy wife and mother of five children. She converted to Catholicism after she saw the faith in action as she attended to her dying husband. She developed a great devotion to the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. While penniless and needing to care for her children she was fortified by the Holy Spirit and founded the first parish school and Catholic orphanage in the United States. Even as a poor ordinary person, her trust in the will of God was heroic and led her to do phenomenal works. As we begin this new year, it might be a good time to decide to carve out some quiet time, daily, if possible, so that we can hear the voice of Jesus call our name to let us know how special we are in his sight and how he might be asking us to put his love into action.

Can I believe that Jesus loves me so much that he wants to spend time with me and be in my presence no matter what sins I may have committed? Is it a priority for me to be still to recognize the presence of Christ in my hectic and noisy life? Can I believe that God might be calling me to do phenomenal things with my life to help others?

 

Pray: Loving God, help me to be still in this chaotic noisy world so that I might hear you call my name and invite me to spend time with you – you who are the source of all that I am and all that I have. I ask this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton: Pray for us!

 

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

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