Tuesday January 24, 2023

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


“God prepares the way for us to do what He asks of us.”


Good News Reflection for:

Tuesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, bishop and doctor of the Church
January 24, 2023

Today’s Prayer:

Thank You, my Lord, for being always willing and anxious to receive us in Your great family which is the Church. Amen.

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

Today’s Readings:

Hebrews 10:1-10
Ps 40:2, 4ab, 7-11
Mark 3:31-35
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/012423.cfm
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/2023-01-24-usccb-daily-mass-readings

How can we know God’s will?

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus states that anyone who does the will of God is a mother or sister or brother to him. The responsorial Psalm has us declaring, “Here am I Lord (not someone else — me!); I come to do your will.” But how can we be sure we know what is the will of God for us? Here are seven ways that God communicates it:

1. AUDIBLE VOICE OF GOD: Some people have heard God speaking to them audibly. However, this form of communication is rare and should never be expected, waited for, or trusted by itself.

2. DIRECT VOICE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: For most of us, the direct voice of God sounds like our own thoughts. It’s possible to carry on real conversations with God using our imaginations, but it’s difficult to know how much is only our imaginations and how much is God. Thus, we must always ask the Holy Spirit to bless and purify our imaginations.

3. INNER PEACE: Whether we’re struggling to discern correct decisions or we’re making them instantaneously, we should always remember to pause and ask the Holy Spirit: “What’s going on? Who or what is pushing me into this?” The driving force may seem logical, the people recommending it may sound rational, but if there is no inner peace, don’t trust it.

4. RIGHT PRIORITIES: Feeling peace is not the same as feeling good. It’s natural to feel good about a wrong decision when our human desires are saying, “I want to do this!” And even good ideas are not always God’s idea. Which choice best serves the kingdom of God? Which one strengthens our relationship with God? Which one is considerate of our own needs while at the same time respectfully cares about the needs of others?

5. SCRIPTURE: Everything we hear from the Lord will be completely in agreement with the Bible, but this means we have to build up a good understanding of what’s in the Bible. We can purify our discernment and our interpretation of inner voices by studying scriptures, but if we take verses out of context, we’ll use them to prove anything. It’s important to learn the Bible and its message as a whole.

6. CIRCUMSTANCES: When patterns occur or “coincidences” keep happening, we need to stop and ask, “Lord, what are you trying to tell me?” God prepares the way for us to do what he asks of us, and everything generally falls into place. When we keep hitting walls (i.e., circumstances that feel like closed doors) God might be telling us to move in a different direction. However, obstacles are often really opportunities to trust God more and take a leap of faith. We cannot trust our interpretation of circumstances alone.

7. SIGNS: Scripture says that if we are living according to the will of God, signs and wonders will follow. Notice: they follow. We aren’t wonder-seekers, we’re God-seekers. The devil can put up misleading signs to send us off in wrong directions. True signs are the good fruits that are produced by following the leadings of Jesus.

Note: This reflection is part of my e-book “Knowing God’s Will and Doing it Well“, published by Catholic Digital Resources: https://catholicdr.com/e-books/knowing-gods-will/

© 2023 by Terry A. Modica

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