Saturday of the First Week of Lent
Malvern Minute


Saturday of the First Week of Lent

March 7, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry 


Memorial Feast:  Saints Perpetua and Felicity, Martyrs of the early Church

Deuteronomy 26:16-19

Psalm 119

Matthew 5:43-48

In today’s Gospel Jesus calls His disciples together in order to make a radical change in their thinking.  He tells them “love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.”  This commandment is not at all new to the disciples.  From the time of Moses, the Jews were obliged to love their neighbor although their idea of their “neighbor” was often vague.  Their love of neighbor was understood to mean to the love of a fellow Israelite or one’s brother.  Therefore, for the disciples to love one’s enemy would be considered absurd.  But Jesus gives new meaning to an old law and defines exactly who our neighbors are extending the “neighborhood” to the farthest corners of the known world. Let’s examine this a bit closer.

Our Lord tells us to, “Love your enemies.”  What doe He really mean?  Does He mean we should have enemies and then later love them?  Or does He mean we should not have enemies at all?  Let us take into consideration that He is speaking about the disciples and their persecutors.  “Enemies” here mean those who hate the disciples and not those that the disciples hate.  Disciples are to hate no one! If by enemies we mean those we hate, then Christians should have no enemies.  But if by enemies we mean those who hate us, then we cannot help having enemies. 

We cannot control how others treat us; we can only control our attitude toward them.  What Jesus is asking us now is that we should not return hatred for hatred or hostility for hostility.  Our Lord is telling us clearly that we must not exclude a single person from our love no matter what they have done or will ever do.  The best thing that we can do regarding anyone who hates is to forgive them and pray for them.  When we forgive it is a step toward healing for all concerned parties.

Question of the Day: Can you forgive your enemies?  If you can, will you?   

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace, You have asked us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.  We pray for our enemies and those who oppose us.  With the help of the Holy Spirit, may all people learn to work together for that justice which brings true and lasting peace. 



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. 

COMPANIONS ON THE JOURNEY Join us every Tuesday from 5 pm – 6 pm for this new and exciting radio broadcast from Malvern Retreat House on Radio Maria USA. Download the app for Radio Maria or go to the internet at

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