Shining Up the Heart
Malvern Minute

 

October 17, 2017 – Tuesday of the Twenty-Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr

 

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

 

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

 

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (11:37-41)

 

After Jesus had spoken,
a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home.
He entered and reclined at table to eat.
The Pharisee was amazed to see
that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal.
The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees!
Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish,
inside you are filled with plunder and evil.
You fools!
Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?

But as to what is within, give alms,
and behold, everything will be clean for you.”

 

Reflect: Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Jesus uses this opportunity to challenge the Pharisee who questioned why he did not follow the prescribed washing rubric.  Jesus is appealing to the Pharisee, as well as to us today, to not only be concerned about the external. What we strive to be externally should agree with what is in our heart.  Jesus calls us to a true conversion of heart. As much attention as we give to making our external appearance look good, we should dedicate ourselves even more diligently to cleansing our heart of hatred, bitterness, pride, lust, envy, selfishness, or any kind of destruction of others. In today’s first reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans (1:16-25), Paul levels a judgment on those who have had the opportunity to hear and understand the message of God, but rather chose “impiety and wickedness.”  He demonstrates that many choose to adore the creature rather than the Creator. “As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal men.”  These words from Holy Scripture are not to condemn us, but to help us recognize our need for conversion and a change of heart – so that the internal shines for the glory of God!

 

Questions: How do I spend my time, talent and energy? Do I seek to serve and lift up others, or is my heart filled with pride, envy, hatred and bitterness? What one step can I take today to begin to let go of the sinfulness that tarnishes my heart before God?

 

Pray: Loving God, you make me in your image and likeness. Help me to preserve the dignity of what you have made by making the right choices in my life for the right reasons. May all that I do and all that I am give you glory and honor.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

 

Saint Ignatius of Antioch: Pray for us!

Of Syrian origin, Ignatius is an Apostolic Father known as the second successor of Saint Peter in Antioch. He served as Bishop there for forty years until he was arrested and escorted to Rome, where he died for sport in the amphitheater around the year 107. During his journey, he wrote seven letters to local communities on church unity and structure. He was the first to use the term “Catholic Church” as a collective designation for Christians. His letters inspired generations of persecuted Christians. “Let me be food for the wild beasts, for they are my way to God. I am God’s wheat and shall be ground by their teeth so that I may become Christ’s pure bread. Pray to Christ for me that the animals will be the means of making me a sacrificial victim for God.”

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ENCOUNTERING DIVINE PHYSICIAN (Gospel of Luke 5: 17-26)

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