Malvern Minute – Wednesday
Malvern Minute

 

February 8, 2017 – Wednesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Josephine Bakhita

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 Mark (7:14-23)

Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them,
“Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person;
but the things that come out from within are what defile.”

When he got home away from the crowd
his disciples questioned him about the parable.
He said to them,
“Are even you likewise without understanding?
Do you not realize that everything
that goes into a person from outside cannot defile,
since it enters not the heart but the stomach
and passes out into the latrine?”
(Thus he declared all foods clean.)
“But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him.
From within the man, from his heart,
come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
adultery, greed, malice, deceit,
licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile.”

 

Reflect: “The things that come out from within are what defile.” What comes out from within, from our heart, can make or break another person; it can build up or destroy the world. As we hear in today’s first reading from the Book of Genesis (chapter 2), God breathed life into us. Because of the power God entrusts to men and women through creation, each of us has the ability to build up or tear down. We tear apart ourselves and others and the world around us through a heart filled with pride and selfishness that is often manifest through the sins Jesus lists: evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly – and many other destructive ways. On the other hand, when our heart is filled with the Word of God and the grace of the sacraments we are more inclined to bring joy, peace, love, mercy, forgiveness, reconciliation, gentleness, kindness, compassion, justice and wisdom into the world. We cannot be builders of the Kingdom of God alone. It is only through God’s grace that this is possible. Josephine Bakhita spent the early years of her life being used and cruelly abused by various slave masters. Later, she looked back and saw that what she experienced led her not to bitterness and resentment but to faith and the opportunity to serve others. What kind of legacy should we leave? One that defiles God’s creation or one that appreciates it as gift and builds it up?

Do I understand that my sin doesn’t happen in isolation, but impacts all of those with whom I am in contact and beyond?  Just like my daily dose of vitamins, what am I doing to fill my heart with the Word of God and his ways on a daily basis?

Pray: Loving God, like Josephine Bakhita, may I be steadfast in charity and prompt to show compassion so that others may know and experience your love and mercy.  I ask this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Saint Josephine Bakhita: Pray for us!

 

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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