February 17, 2017 – Friday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order
Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)
A Reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (8:34 – 9:1)
Jesus summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the Gospel will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
What could one give in exchange for his life?
Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words
in this faithless and sinful generation,
the Son of Man will be ashamed of
when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
He also said to them,
“Amen, I say to you,
there are some standing here who will not taste death
until they see that the Kingdom of God has come in power.”
Reflect: Whoever loses his life will save it. So many phrases in the Gospels seem to be counterintuitive. Today’s selection is jammed with words that can seem confusing and may even make many shake their heads in disbelief. The crux of the matter, however, is that as followers of Christ we are called to forget ourselves, to sacrifice, to embrace the cross for a greater good and in service to others. We don’t do that for some good humanitarian reason, but rather because through Jesus’ example we know that death leads to life and a love that forgets self leads to the fullness of love and life. As Jesus challenged Peter in yesterday’s gospel to stop thinking in strictly human terms, so we today need to reflect on what sets believers apart from the mindset and practices of a secular or non-believing world. Jesus invites us to find the priceless gift by letting go of our ego and selfishness. We lose ourselves to give to others; in turn, we get back so much more.
What am I holding on to that interferes with me being a disciple of Jesus? How can I begin to consider the needs of others, not looking for anything in return but to forget myself and to enter into the cross and suffering of Jesus found in the lives of people who are hurting, wounded, suffering and lacking in basic needs? As Lent approaches, is there some service of others that I can consider taking on – for the sake of Jesus and his Kingdom?
Pray: Loving God, you abide in hearts that are just and true. May I be fashioned by your grace so as to become a dwelling pleasing to you. I ask this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.
The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order: Pray for us!
ENCOUNTERING THE DIVINE PHYSICIAN (Gospel of Luke 5: 17-26)
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