Monday October 3, 2022

daily reflections

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


DISCOVER TODAY: Joy and satisfaction come from actively loving everyone: God, others, and ourselves.


Good News Reflection for:

Monday of the 27th Week of Ordinary Time
October 3, 2022

Today’s Prayer:

Beloved Lord, forgive me for looking for my “neighbor” as someone far from me. Grant me the grace of doing good to those people who are near me in my everyday circumstances. Amen.

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

Today’s Readings:

Galatians 1:6-12
Psalm 111:(5)1b-2,7-10c
Luke 10:25-37
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/100322.cfm
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/2022-10-03-usccb-daily-mass-readings

Love and apathy

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

It’s interesting that in the parable of the Good Samaritan (today’s Gospel reading), Jesus does not tell us the identity or nationality or social status of the man who needs help. We don’t know if the traveler from Samaria helped the enemy or a fellow Samaritan.

It doesn’t matter. The sin of the priest and the Levite is that they didn’t care enough to even find out if this man was alive or dead, or what kind of help he needed. Trapped in their self-centered world, they choose to completely ignore him.

The opposite of love is not hate. It’s apathy: ignoring a need, not caring, doing nothing when there is something we can do to relieve suffering.

Apathy is not natural. We were born to love. Apathy begins when there are voids in our lives that cause a feeling of continual dissatisfaction: the empty, aching, lonely, scary voids that indicate something is missing.

What’s missing is love. The people who should care about us sometimes fail to give us all the love that we need. Even those who love us most cannot give us all that we need. And there are those who totally reject their calling to care about us; they treat us with apathy.

No one can love us completely the way we need their love. So, we either numb ourselves and become apathetic toward others, or we decide to rely more fully on God, who is love and who is never apathetic toward us.

The achy voids we feel are clues that we haven’t yet given God our full attention.

When God’s love isn’t filling us, we automatically try to fill the voids with anger, cynicism, busyness, co-dependent relationships, over-eating, over-shopping, anesthetizing drinks or drugs, or self-esteem boosting accolades.

Aha, there really is no such thing as a void, is there! A vacuum sucks in whatever is near the hole. We fill our empty areas with things and people and activities that are not God. This causes apathy, because it prevents the outward flow of love, and at the same time it makes us miserable, because it never sufficiently brings us love.

Jesus says that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves and that every person we encounter is a neighbor. Why? Because caring for others moves us from self-centeredness to “God-filledness.” By giving love away, God rushes in and fills up the emptied places with his own presence.

We were not designed to be selfish. Made in the image of God, we feel happiest when we unite ourselves to his love. Joy and satisfaction come from actively loving everyone: God, others, and ourselves.

To reflect more on this issue, use our WordByte “The Ministries of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy” @ wordbytes.org/master-needs-you/ministries-of-mercy/.

© 2022 by Terry A. Modica

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