The Pathway to Heaven
Malvern Minute

 

July 28, 2017 – Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance. Alleluia!

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 Book of Exodus (20:1-17)

In those days:
God delivered all these commandments:

“I, the LORD, am your God,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery.
You shall not have other gods besides me.
You shall not carve idols for yourselves
in the shape of anything in the sky above
or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth;
you shall not bow down before them or worship them.
For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God,
inflicting punishment for their fathers’ wickedness
on the children of those who hate me,
down to the third and fourth generation;
but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation
on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain.
For the LORD will not leave unpunished
him who takes his name in vain.

“Remember to keep holy the sabbath day.
Six days you may labor and do all your work,
but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD, your God.
No work may be done then either by you, or your son or daughter,
or your male or female slave, or your beast,
or by the alien who lives with you.
In six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth,
the sea and all that is in them;
but on the seventh day he rested.
That is why the LORD has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

“Honor your father and your mother,
that you may have a long life in the land
which the LORD, your God, is giving you.

“You shall not kill.

“You shall not commit adultery.

“You shall not steal.

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,

nor his male or female slave, nor his ox or ass,
nor anything else that belongs to him.”

 

Reflect: You shall not have other gods besides me. God delivers the commandments to Moses so that his people wandering in the desert will not lose their way. He sets a new standard from which the people of God will thrive. Essentially, God is making it clear through the first commandment that he is the foundation upon which all life must be built. There is nothing on earth or in our earthly experience that can replace the preeminence of God. The other commandments reinforce the need that we all have to keep our lives grounded on the One True God. We can so easily slip into the temptation of making ourselves the root, center and summit of life. God directs us to find the way to the fullness of life by preserving a tremendous unwavering love for him, and loving others at least as much as we love ourselves. He calls us to respect him and to respect others in all of our choices and decisions. The commandment that God gives to his people is not a human code of law; rather, it is a divine directive that provides us with the pathway to heaven.

Questions: Do I find myself living out the commandments that God has given me? Do I keep God, the Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as the foundation to my ordinary and extraordinary choices and decisions?  Do I see the commandments as the guide to heaven and the fullness of life or as an outmoded, irrelevant revelation from God? How might God be calling me to apply the commandments more fully in my life?

Pray: Loving God, you have the words of everlasting life. Help me to write your words on my heart and in my mind. May I always rejoice in knowing that you never lead me astray, but rather do everything possible to call me closer to you and your Kingdom. I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

The designs of his Heart are from age to age, to rescue their souls from death and to keep them alive in famine.

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

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