Friday August 5, 2022

daily reflections

Good News Reflections:
Making scripture meaningful to your daily life
by Terry Modica

TODAY’S GOOD NEWS: If we want to have peace and a good life, we have to give up trying to save ourselves and let God do it for us.

Good News Reflection for:

Friday of the 18th Week of Ordinary Time
August 5, 2022

Today’s Prayer:

I praise and thank You, Lord, because You gave Your own life to save me. Help me to imitate You, giving up myself and letting You guide my life. Amen.

SaintsToday’s Saint Quote & Prayer:
gnm.org/SaintQuotes/

Today’s Readings:

Nahum 2:1, 3; 3:1-3, 6-7
Deuteronomy 32:35cd-36ab, 39, 41
Matthew 16:24-28
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/080522.cfm
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/2022-08-05

A matter of life and death

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

“It is I who deal death and give life,” says the Lord in today’s responsorial psalm. In today’s first reading we read, “See, upon the mountains there advances the bearer of good news, announcing peace!” There is no greater peace than to let God be totally in charge of our every decision, our understanding and our lack of understanding, our discovery of truth, and our life.

Jesus, who is that bearer of good news, explains it in today’s Gospel reading: If we want to have peace and a good life, we have to give up trying to save ourselves and let God do it for us.

We are way too inadequate to ensure our own happiness here on earth, let alone eternally in heaven! We don’t understand what’s going on, although we try to, and in our attempts to feel sure about our view of life, we believe in our own, limited perceptions — to our detriment.

If we could be transported in prayer, for even a moment, into eternity and see everything from heaven’s perspective, we’d slap our forwards and say, “Duh! How come I didn’t realize that before?”

Only God sees the full picture, the true road to happiness and peace, and he never communicates it to us alone. We’re not smart enough to hear him correctly all by ourselves. We need the help of community: a spiritual director, Christian friends, a Confessor, etc. And then we need to trust the Holy Spirit to speak first to us in our hearts and then confirm it through others.

Trusting the Lord means accepting that we are moronically stupid compared to his wisdom and knowledge. We dare not trust our own ability to make right decisions without his guidance, nor can we trust our ability to correctly discern that guidance. In the humility of that awareness, we open our lives to divine direction and intervention.

A favorite prayer of mine is: “Lord, grab onto my ankles today, and do not let me wander off the path where You want me to be.” I cannot trust myself to know where the Lord is leading me, but I can trust that the Lord is stronger and bigger than me. All he needs from me is my desire to be led by him. In his hands, I am safe. He corrects me when I’m wrong, redirects me to the right conclusions, and even stops me in my tracks when my moronic brain stubbornly refuses to pay heed.

This is giving up our lives for the sake of finding life. Is it scary? Indeed! Denying ourselves (putting aside our ways, our desires, our ideas of how to find happiness) to trust God is truly a loss. But it’s a matter of life and death.

To read more about this issue, go to our WordByte called: “The Parable of the Frog” @ https://wordbytes.org/parables/the-frog-in-need-of-water/.

© 2022 by Terry A. Modica

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