Good News Reflections:
Making scripture meaningful to your daily life
by Terry Modica
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DISCOVER TODAY: We are made righteous by our love for others.
Good News Reflection for:
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 23, 2022
Beloved Lord, give me the grace to recognize my constraints, my faults, and my need of You. Thank You for the wonders You always do in my life. Amen.
Subscribe to Today’s Saint Quote & Prayer:
Ps 34:2-3, 17-19, 23 (with 7a)
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
How love humbles us into righteousness
In this Sunday’s Gospel reading, we see what happens when our primary motivation in whatever we do is not love but self-centeredness. “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled.” Sooner or later, self-exalting people get humbled, whether they realize it or not. They are brought down low by their own behaviors. People who encounter them in daily life do not think very highly of them. And certainly, God doesn’t either.
The much better alternative is to let our love for others be what humbles us.
Without love as our motivation, we believe in our own so-called “righteousness,” thinking we’re okay when we’re not. But when we do good deeds for others because we genuinely care about them, the pride of our self-righteousness is replaced by holy humility.
We are made righteous by our love for others. Self-righteousness is self-made — it motivates us to do good, but only for the selfish purpose of looking admirable, winning God’s approval, or gaining some other personal benefit. Love, which is true righteousness, motivates us to do good for the sake of others.
Look at the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable. We all behave like that from time to time. Think of someone who is inferior to you because you are holier, who doesn’t go to church as often as you do, or who doesn’t pray like you do. Think of someone who is not worthy of your time and caregiving. Think of someone who is too difficult to love.
The cure for this self-righteousness is to get in touch with God’s concern for them. Once we unite our hearts to God’s love for them, we begin to care about them, too. And the most powerful, most successful way to accomplish such union with God is through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which absolves us of self-righteousness and empowers us with divine grace to absorb Christ’s own righteousness.
Questions for Personal Reflection:
Think of those who are less spiritually active than you, e.g., family, friends, co-workers, and parishioners who cause you to think: “Thank God I am not like them!” Do you grieve for them because of their sins and blindness? Do you do anything to help them grow closer to Christ? Do they experience Jesus every time they encounter you?
Questions for Family & Community Faith Sharing:
What are some ways that you show love to those who are not as holy as you, or not as emotionally healthy as you, or not as intelligent as you? Describe a time when you were more self-righteous than righteous. How did you (or how will you) let Jesus turn your pride into love-filled humility?
© 2022 by Terry A. Modica
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