Where Do I Belong?
Malvern Minute

Today's Daily Reflection

From Mark Poletunow

Every day, Mark Poletunow, Malvern Retreat House’s President, takes time to reflect and pray about the daily reading. Take a minute to join him as he illuminates the scriptures.

 

A Minute from Malvern – Where Do I Belong?
            
May 16, 2018 – Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Easter
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Your word, O Lord, is truth; consecrate us in the truth.

Alleluia, alleluia!

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Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)
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Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)
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A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (17:11b-19):

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying:
“Holy Father, keep them in your name
that you have given me,
so that they may be one just as we are one.

When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me,
and I guarded them, and none of them was lost
except the son of destruction,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
But now I am coming to you.
I speak this in the world
so that they may share my joy completely.
I gave them your word, and the world hated them,
because they do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world
but that you keep them from the Evil One.

They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.

Consecrate them in the truth. 
Your word is truth.

As you sent me into the world,
so I sent them into the world.
And I consecrate myself for them,
so that they also may be consecrated in truth.”

Reflect: They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. In today’s Gospel and first reading (Acts 20:28-38), we hear two distinct but united farewell discourses. In the Gospel, we see the fervent prayer of Jesus to the Father: ‘Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one.’  He desires that those who have assented to his word might always be consecrated and set apart to walk in the truth for the honor and glory of God: ‘Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.’  At the same time, Jesus recognizes that his disciples, all of us, will have to live within the world. Nonetheless, he is firm in seeking our protection from the works of the Enemy: ‘I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the Evil One.’ Similarly, after having ministered for three years among the Church at Ephesus Paul bids farewell to the beloved presbyters there. His final instruction is focused on reminding them about where and to whom they belong: ‘Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, in which you tend the Church of God that he acquired with his own Blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock. And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth to draw disciples away after them. So be vigilant…’  As we prepare for the great feast of Pentecost, let’s pray for and accept the grace that the Holy Spirit wants to pour out over us so that we might always remain firmly planted on the foundation, the truth that is Jesus Christ, and his one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. Abiding in his Body, we can best deal with the temptation, lies and deceit that can surround us; and keep our heads and hearts above the fray with our eyes focused on The Truth, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!

Questions: What are some ways that I experience the temptation of lies and deceit beckoning me away from Jesus? Where and to whom do I believe that I belong during this earthly journey and after my death? If I truly desire Jesus Christ and his truth, can I pray fervently that the Holy Spirit might fill my heart and head with the grace to seek and remain steadfast in Jesus?

Pray: Loving God, I want to know your ways, and to walk with you and toward you to everlasting life. Send your Holy Spirit to convict me of the Truth so that I might not waver in accepting and living in your love today and for all time.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen                                                                                                    

When the Paraclete comes, whom I will send you, the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me, and you also will bear witness, says the Lord, alleluia!

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ENCOUNTERING DIVINE PHYSICIAN (see Gospel of Mark 5:21-43):

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:  MalvernRetreat.com

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