Today's Good News Reflection

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by Terry Modica
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Good News Reflection

Today's Good News: Grace is God's supernatural gift to help us rise above our sinful tendencies.

Good News Reflection

Wednesday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time
October 23, 2019

Today's Prayer:

Lord, You draw me closer to You and call me by my name. Give me the grace to be alert at every moment, working faithfully according to Your loving plans. Amen.

Today's Readings:

Romans 6:12-18
Ps 124:1b-8
Luke 12:39-48
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

By the grace of God

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

Saint Paul says in our first reading today that if we offer ourselves to God, sin no longer has power over us.

Oh yeah? Then how come I keep falling back into sin? Why do I behave selfishly? Why do I still do the hurtful things that I really don't want to do? (You too, huh?)

It's grace that empowers us to resist sin. Without it, we repeatedly fail. This is why the Sacrament of Confession is extraordinarily helpful. Since this avenue of forgiveness is a sacrament, we receive more than forgiveness: We receive God's grace.

However, if we offer ourselves to God before we sin, we put ourselves into his grace and receive his aid for resisting temptation. The Blessed Mother was able to avoid sinning because she was full of grace. Grace is God's supernatural gift to help us rise above our sinful tendencies.

The more Christ-like we become, the easier it is to resist temptation. However, holiness is a difficult journey. Desiring to be Christ-like isn't enough to keep us from sinning. We need supernatural grace.

Grace empowers us. Without grace, we're enslaved to sin, which leads to death -- the death of our souls. With grace, we choose the path of obedience, doing what God wants us to do, because we love him and want to be like him, rather than doing what we're tempted to do apart from God. By choosing to place ourselves under his benevolent authority, we accept the holy power of our Good Master, and this enables us to be righteous.

Surrender (offering ourselves to God) is the catalyst that turns a temptation into a victory. Thus, if I feel hurt by an injustice done to me and vengeful anger begins to dictate my response, I can choose to pause and place myself under God's grace. This means choosing to be merciful to those who treated me unfairly, praying for them and, if appropriate, finding a good deed to do for them, treating them better than the way they treated me. Under God's grace, I can take this holy approach. Under God's grace, with the anger gone, I can figure out how he wants me to bring justice to the situation.

Surrender and obedience stop temptation and prevent sin. Handling others gracefully gets our focus off of their sins and helps us pay attention to how Jesus himself is giving us the love and the goodness that others have denied to us.

Only under God's grace can we successfully do the opposite of what we're tempted to do. Only under God's grace are we able to be victorious in our walk of holiness. By the grace of God, we live in righteousness and change the world around us.

© 2019 by Terry A. Modica

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