Monday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute


Monday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time – August 19, 2019

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Memorial of St. John Eudes

Judges 2:11-19

Psalms 106:34-35, 36-37, 39-40, 43AB and 44

Matthew1 19:16-22

A question that has haunted Christians throughout history is, “how do we live our life for the Lord.”   

God had miraculously led the Jewish people out of the bondage of slavery and delivered them to the Promised Land.  But isn’t it amazing how quickly they forgot all that God had done for them.  In today’s first reading, again and again God provided righteous judges to deliver them from the evils of the world, only to see them fall away, again and again. 

Psalm 106 continues with the “peoples” lack of commitment to God.  We read that the Jewish people continue to turn their back on the Lord and “follow the ways of the world,” which almost always leads to dire consequence.  Yet, when things got bad they always begged God to remember them.  Does this sound familiar?

We can certainly see a pattern developing in today’s scripture readings.  The stories contained throughout salvation history teach of the importance of maintaining our focus on God.  In our troubled world, we would certainly question why anyone would choose anything but God who promises us so much more to what the world has to offer.  Yet in todays Holy Gospel, Jesus provides us with further insight into the question of “how do we live our life for the Lord.”  A young man approaches Jesus and evidently understood the value of eternal life.  It is interesting that our Lord did not initially respond with the First Commandment of loving God with all our hearts, mind and soul.  Rather, He listed six Commandments that the young man believed he had kept.  Perhaps the young man was feeling good about himself with the first five Commandments Jesus mentioned and glossed over the sixth that is to love your neighbor as yourself.  Jesus did not miss this irony.  He continued with a more direct answer to the man’s question, “What must I do to gain eternal life?”  Jesus said, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.”

So, is it really possible to give our lives over completely to our Lord and Savior and to live for Him?  I do not believe that Jesus was baiting the young man, or us, with doing something that is impossible.  The young man was most probably a “good man” in the eyes of the world.  Yet Jesus saw past his outward image and looked into his heart.

Thinking we are pretty “good” may not cut it.  It is only through surrendering our hearts, minds and souls completely to Jesus that we can look forward to eternal life with Him.  Jesus knew that even when we have given our hearts to Him we would still occasionally stumble.  That is why He gave himself up for us on the cross.  Such love is incomprehensible and the best reason of all for surrendering our hearts completely to our gracious, forgiving and loving Savior. 

Question of the Day:  Am I ashamed to admit that at times I loose focus on God and slip back into following the world’s idea of what is right?

Prayer:  Heavenly Father help me to avoid the lies and temptations of this world and to keep my eyes and heart focused continually and completely upon my precious Lord and Savior.



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