No Holding Back
Malvern Minute


June 8, 2017 – Thursday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel. Alleluia!

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (12:28-34)

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
“Which is the first of all the commandments?”
Jesus replied, “The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength.

The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.”

The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,

and to love your neighbor as yourself
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”

And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Reflect: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. And, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus provides two simple commandments that summarize the pathway to the Kingdom of God. If we give to him all that we’ve got with a sincere and authentic heart, and we love all others without reserve, then we are “not far from the Kingdom of God.” Such simplicity, such clarity, but ever so challenging! We sincerely desire the Kingdom of Heaven, but we’re inclined to stumble along the way.  Sometimes we mess up royally. Sometimes our pride and selfishness trip us up so we hold back from loving God or neighbor genuinely and generously. Often, we can be our own worst enemy by putting obstacles in front of ourselves on our journey to God and his Kingdom. Let’s ask God to purify our hearts, our minds, our spirit so that we can love him with all of our strength as well as love our neighbor (whoever that might be) in the way that we desire to be loved and respected. For a true disciple, there’s no holding back in our love for God and the other.

Questions: Is getting to the Kingdom of God a priority for me? How do I live today as if I’m in and want to remain within the Kingdom of God? What are my obstacles in loving God and neighbor without reserve? What small step can I take today to ask God to remove one of those nagging obstacles that get in my way and trip me up from loving God and others without holding back?

Pray: Loving God, you know my heart. You know that I love you and want to serve you by loving others as you love them. Hear my prayer and remove from my heart, my mind and my spirit whatever interferes with loving you and others as I ought.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

To you I call, for you will surely heed me, O God; turn your ear to me; hear my words and have mercy on me.                                  



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:

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