Malvern Minute – Wednesday
Malvern Minute

 

March 22, 2017 – Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent

Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;

you have the words of everlasting life!

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 (5:17-19)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.

Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”

 
Reflect: Whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be call greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. The flip side of this gospel statement is: “Whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.” Understood correctly, God’s commandments give us life. These “rules” teach us how to live; how to love God and neighbor. Too often, we can try to convince ourselves that the commandments are restrictive and old fashioned. Innate in every human person, however, is the desire to live rightly. That never changes. The commandments are the basic touchstones that show us how to be fully human. In the first reading from the Book of Deuteronomy (chapter 4), God instructs his people to observe the commandments carefully, “For thus will you give evidence of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations, who will hear of these statutes and say, ‘This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.’” God doesn’t give us something to oppress us or make our life unbearable; but rather, to give us freedom, to show us the way, to equip us to succeed. That is why as we learn to grasp and live the fullness of God’s commandments we will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. Above all, Jesus wants us to know how to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, strength and very being, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Living faithful to God’s love makes us great!

Questions: What is one commandment that I struggle with the most? Can I talk with God to help me grasp how it actually gives me freedom, hope and joy? In what ways can the commandments really help me to be fully alive and to make the best use of the gift of my life?

Pray: Loving God, may I have the grace to love your law and the desire to be devoted to you with my whole heart.  I ask this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

You will show me the path of life,

the fullness of joy in your presence, O Lord!

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ENCOUNTERING THE DIVINE PHYSICIAN (Gospel of Luke 5: 17-26)

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