Saturday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute


Saturday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

October 31, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Saint Mary Magdalen Parish, Media, PA


Letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians 1:18b-26

Psalm 42

Luke 14:1, 7-11


            As many of us know, Saint Paul’s letter to the Philippians was written while in prison.  Rather than feeling helpless as most of us in this situation would, I sense that Paul is empowered by his relationship with Jesus Christ.  In fact, in his letters Paul speaks, “with all boldness.”  Although he mentions his longing to depart this life and be with Christ, he sees by remaining on earth is a necessity in which he many continue to serve others. 

            In terms of our own lives, most of us are required to cope with difficult circumstances from time to time.  We may be imprisoned by depression, despair, anxiety, hate, or other problems that act as shackles in our lives.  Here you must take my personal word that, having personally spent time in prison, I can relate to the difficulties and feelings of hopelessness and unhappiness while being incarcerated.  You see, I was in the prison ministry at my first parish assignment for fourteen years and saw living conditions that did not improve an individual’s already poor outlook on life.

            Although those who are imprisoned regardless of circumstances may want to give up, we should, instead, emulate Saint Paul and accept God’s love and the empowerment that accompanies it to work through hardships.  God grants us many gifts and these include the ability to step back, tap into our faith, and confidently use prayer, problem solving, forgiveness, and other God-given skills to free ourselves from the shackles of despair and hopelessness.  By doing this, we grow greatly through and with Jesus and rejoice as Paul knowing that none of this is possible without God’s love.  In recognizing this, we not only become empowered to live God’s message, but to spread the word through our new-found empathy and service to those most in need.   

Question of the Day:  Will you consider joining an organization such as Catholic Prison Pen Pals or the Order of Malta Pen Pals Program to reach out to those who are incarcerated in order to help bring them the love of Christ into their lives?

Prayer:  Father of Mercy, the secrets of all hearts are known to you alone.  You know who is just and you forgive the unjust.  You alone are the Almighty Judge.  We are not worthy of judging anyone.  Your mercy is enough for sinners.  Hear our prayers for those in prison.  Give them repentance and let them believe in you.  Give them patience and hope in their sufferings, and bring them home again soon.  Comfort their near and dear ones.  Let them trust in Jesus Christ and live with hope.  Amen.  (Prayer for Prisoners June 15, 2009)


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