Malvern Minute – Labor Day

September 4, 2017  – Monday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

Labor Day

Guest: Fr. John F. Meyers, Rector Pro-Tem Malvern Retreat House (jmeyers@malvernretreat.com)

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

Gospel: Lk 4:16-30

Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the Sabbath day.  He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.  He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.  He said to them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”  And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.  They also asked, “Is this not the son of Joseph?”  He said to them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb, ‘Physician, cure yourself,’ and say, ‘Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.'”  And he said, “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.  Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the sky was closed for three and a half years and a severe famine spread over the entire land.  It was to none of these that Elijah was sent, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.  Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”  When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury.  They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong.  But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

The Gospel of the Lord

 

Reflect: For the final weeks of the Church year, we will be reading from the Gospel of Luke during the week.  Today’s passage is a kind of inaugural address.  Jesus describes Himself as the fulfillment of the words from the Prophet Isaiah.  He describes His mission and purpose.  On this Labor Day we do well to reflect on the blessings of human labor: the art, industry, and progress it has produced.  Sadly, human work and progress sometimes bring destruction to human life as well.  The abortion industry, pornography, pharmaceuticals and technologies that damage healthy reproductive systems, and so much that passes for education that is just indoctrination into political correctness rather than formation in truth – all of these things challenge us to be wary as well as grateful for human works.

Further, Jesus quotation of the Prophet Isaiah is the job description of all who claim to follow Him.

Questions: If I was given a periodic evaluation based on bringing glad tidings, liberty to captives, healing and liberation to those in need, on a scale of one to ten, how do I think I would be rated?  What might I do beginning today to improve my rating for the next quarterly review?

PrayO God, who through human labor never cease to perfect and govern the vast work of creation, listen to the supplications of Your people and grant that all men and women may find work that befits their dignity, joins them more closely to one another and enables them to serve their neighbor.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saint Joseph the Worker: Pray for us!

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

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