Good News Reflections:
Making scripture meaningful to your daily life
by Terry Modica
“True faith involves doing deeds of love for others, whether they deserve it or not, because we are giving them Jesus.”
Good News Reflection for:
Thursday, Christmas Weekday
Memorial of Saint John Neumann, Bishop
January 5, 2023
I thank You, Lord, for trusting me. Save me from my prejudices and my human criteria so I may discover You where You want to take me. Amen.
Today’s Saint Quote & Prayer:
1 John 3:11-21
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
How to discover your greatness
Like Jesus did with the disciples in today’s Gospel reading, he has called you and he says to you: “Be my disciple and you will see great things!”
Sometimes, great things come in surprising forms that do not seem to be great at all. The Eucharist, for example, is given to us in the form of a little wafer or piece of bread; it does not look like it contains the full presence of Jesus with all of his humanity and all of his divinity.
Compared to Jesus, you and I do not seem great at all, but we contain Jesus. We contain greatness beyond imagining! God’s majesty dwells in us, and we have proof of this whenever it comes out of us in the form of love. This is why today’s first reading tells us to “love one another.”
This scripture points out that we know we have Jesus living within us because of the love that we give to others.
Similarly, we know for sure that we are victorious over sin (“that we have passed from death to life”) because we experience Christ’s love flowing from within us outward to others even when they are difficult to love.
Think of someone you’ve not forgiven. Or think of people you’ve refused a kindness to because they don’t deserve it. This is not love; this is a form of hatred. Today’s Gospel tells us that we are murderers when we hate those who have hurt us, and eternal life does not abide in our hearts. Wow. Gulp. Ouch. Time to run back to the confessional! And perhaps afterward we should go to a spiritual director or a counselor to receive healing for our wounds so that we will become free to love everyone like God does.
“Let us love in deed and in truth instead of merely talking about it.” As disciples of Jesus, we’re learning how to imitate him. What has he been teaching us from the examples he set?
Well, he came to us, not to be served, but to serve our needs. He even laid down his life for us! We, too, are not here to be served by those who have treated us poorly. We are here to serve them.
Laying down our lives for others means laying down our wishes, our woundedness, and our self-centered focus to do good deeds for them. Sometimes this might be from afar, for safety reasons, but always the love of Jesus flows outward to them from us.
It’s right to separate ourselves from those who repeatedly hurt us. An abused wife cannot be Jesus for her husband until she first gets herself and her children to safety, works on her own healing with a counselor, and learns to love herself with God’s own love for her. Only then will she become strong enough to love her husband with the true presence of Christ who’s living within her.
True faith involves doing deeds of love for others, whether they deserve it or not, because we are giving them Jesus. We are like Mary, giving birth to Love himself. By loving others unconditionally, we make every day a Christmas day.
Reflect further on this using our WordByte called: “Healing the Lepers in Your Life” @ https://wordbytes.org/passion-spirituality/lepers/
© 2022 by Terry A. Modica
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