Tuesday November 15, 2022

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

DISCOVER TODAY: Where growth is lacking, life withers.

Good News Reflection for:

Tuesday of the 33rd Week of Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Albert the Great, bishop and doctor of the Church
November 15, 2022

Today’s Prayer:

Lord Jesus: Give me a deep awareness of my sins, and may this throw me to a savior-encounter with You. Amen.

SaintsToday’s Saint Quote & Prayer:

Today’s Readings:

Revelation 3:1-6, 14-22
Ps 15:2-5 (with Rev. 3:21)
Luke 19:1-10
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

How enthusiastic are you?

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

The word “enthusiasm” comes from ancient Greek and means “in God” (from entheos). If we’re really and truly in the Lord, we’re enthusiastic about it! In fact, we become enthusiastic about everything we do that’s good and worthwhile. There’s no mediocrity in us. We become enthusiastic about our relationships, our work, our involvement in the parish – whatever we do with God and in God and through God.

That’s the point of the messages for both groups in today’s first reading. Without enthusiasm, “you have the reputation of being alive, when in fact you are dead.” Without enthusiasm, “your faith is no faith; a lukewarm relationship with God is blecchie, ikky, yukky, pukey.”

Why is it better to be cold toward God than lukewarm? Because when people are cold toward something that bothers them, the reason it bothers them is because they care. Jesus can work with cold-hearted people to humble them and set them on fire for his love, but lukewarm people don’t care. Those who hate God care – it’s why they get so angry – but those who prefer to be disinterested are unreachable. They are the living dead.

There is no stimulation for spiritual growth when our relationship with God is lukewarm. Where growth is lacking, life withers. When such a person reaches the time of physical death, there is nothing in their spirit that yearns to spend eternity in God’s love.

Be glad for those who are fighting the truth, who are fighting against God and his ways, who are fighting against you and your faith. At least they still have the energy to fight! In every battle there is hope for a victory in Christ. But when they don’t care anymore, we must pray for a crisis that will awaken them and stir up their need for God.

Let’s bring this closer to home. What in our own lives is lukewarm? Whom have we stopped caring about? How have we grown lazy? Where has our spiritual life become lethargic?

Spiritual energy is the hallmark of an alive Christian. Sometimes, we lose energy because we’re tired, but instead of becoming lukewarm, we need to recover our enthusiasm. Sometimes, the lack of energy means we’ve been working harder than God wants us to, to the point of burn-out. Sometimes it means we’re no longer doing what God wants us to devote our energies to. We need to be like Zacchaeus, who in today’s Gospel reading was so determined to see Jesus that he found a way over the obstacles. We need to redirect our energy to more fruitful works.

Notice that once Zacchaeus climbed the tree, Jesus did the follow-up. Jesus zeroed in on him and gave him personal attention and affirmation. How did Zacchaeus respond? He quickly descended from the tree and welcomed Jesus with delight. He had so much enthusiasm – so much presence of God within him – that he wanted to quadruple the penance for his sins!

Can we pray more fervently? Sing in Mass more loudly? Serve more eagerly? Immerse ourselves in scripture more hungrily? Donate our treasures more generously? The higher our level of enthusiasm, the more we’re living “in God.”

For more on the topic of this subject see our video “Revelation 3:16 – An Important Message from Jesus Today” @ gnm-media.org/revelation-3-16/.

© 2022 by Terry A. Modica

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