Monday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute


Monday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

August 31, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry


First Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians

Psalm 119:97-102

Luke 4:16-30


In today’s Gospel narrative we find Jesus facing one of His toughest audiences.  They are the people from His hometown, the people who knew Him best.  He revisits His boyhood synagogue and reads from scripture the passage where it was written, the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, He has anointed me, sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, recovery of sight to the blind and other astonishing news.

Initially His listeners were impressed and then became instantly doubtful.  They asked, “Is this not the son of Joseph?”  Surely this “kid” we know so well, the son of our town carpenter can’t really have a message for us from God! 

We can pity those people in the synagogue for being so slow-witted, but then we can look at our own lives in comparison.  How often are we the ones the audience, muttering our own doubts?  We are told that God’s Spirit is present in us and those around us.  But we know that can’t be true and instead turn our full attention to those nagging voices muttering inside us, reminding us of our flaws and our imperfections.

Friends, our greatest temptation in life might be to doubt that God can be found in our midst and that God is right here, standing in the middle of our lives.  We, who are so acutely aware of our own flaws, might doubt our value and that of those around us.  We may even feel undeserving of God’s love, and so we ignore all of the places and people in our lives where God’s love is being proclaimed to us. 

Many ask, “Surely God cannot be found here in MY weakness and fears?”  But that is exactly where God IS found.  It is only when we truly believe that God loves us just as we are, as imperfectly as we have become because of a thousand choices we have made, that we can recognize His presence in ourselves and others.  It is in the heart of our everyday lives that we find the Spirit of the Lord in our own imperfect marriages, in aging parents, in our troubled children, dealing with the fears stemming from COVID-19 or demanding co-workers.

Today, Jesus invites us to look around and stop seeing ourselves and others through our blinding fears.  If we allow our hearts to be transformed we will see the Spirt of the Lord upon each person in our lives.  It is then that we will find the intimacy with Jesus we long for so deeply and we will have been healed, once again, of our blindness just as Jesus promised.

Question of the Day:  How do you recognize God in everything you do, everything you see and everything you say?

Prayer:  Lord, create in me a new heart, a new spirit, and new understanding.  Let me ever rejoice in You.

Please continue to pray for the victims of the Coronavirus and for all who are affected by this unprecedented pandemic as well as for peace in our country and in our world.




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