Wednesday February 1, 2023

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

“In every trial, there’s an important lesson that God is teaching us.”

Good News Reflection for:

Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
February 1, 2023

Today’s Prayer:

Lord Jesus: Give me the grace to discover You in the simplicity of people, especially in the closest ones that perhaps do not get my attention. Amen.

SaintsSubscribe to Today’s Saint Quote & Prayer:

Today’s Readings:

Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15
Ps 103:1-2, 13-14, 17-18a
Mark 6:1-6
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

Strength for your wobbly knees

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

Oh how pathetic we look when we feel discouraged and weary of our trials! Today’s first reading describes us as having weak knees and drooping hands.

For some reason, we assume we’re not supposed to suffer. When new troubles begin, we think something’s amiss. We think we’ll be better off getting rid of it quickly. We cry to God for help. When that doesn’t work, we treat prayer formulas like magic spells. We behave as if God made a mistake in allowing the hardship. We look for the nearest exit.

It’s right and holy to seek relief through prayer, protective action, a counselor or a doctor. If this makes a difference, it’s because God is confirming that we’re supposed to conquer the problem and move on. But if all normal, healthy and faith-filled attempts to bring relief fail, it does not mean that we’re a failure, nor does it mean that God is failing us. What it means is: There’s a greater blessing and we haven’t reached it yet.

In every trial, there’s an important lesson that God is teaching us. Today’s scripture tells us to see our trials as discipline from God. The word “discipline” has the same root as “disciple” — it means to receive training or education that corrects, molds, and builds character. Yet, we think that discipline is a penalty for wrong-doing, and so we revert back to the reactions of our childhood when we tried to squirm and cheat and charm our way out of due punishments.

Discipline seems a cause for grief, not joy, but later it brings “the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” Grumbling and complaining mean that we’re not trusting God enough. We feel forgotten by him, but really it’s us who do the forgetting. We’re forgetting that God hurts with us, that Jesus bears the punishment with us! He doesn’t enjoy it any more than you do. He cares about your feelings far more than you do, but he sees the bigger picture. He knows that a short-cut to the end of the trial would cause more misery in the long run, not less.

God’s timing is always perfect. He delivers us from our trials at the earliest possible moment, as long as we cooperate with him instead of making matters worse.

Knowing this about God should strengthen our weak knees and drooping hands. Otherwise, our drooping hands scrape knuckles along the hard and bumpy road. They get scratched and bruised, and in frustration we grab rocks to throw at nearby travelers who are unfortunate enough to be on the same path.

Getting upset (“bent out of shape”) doesn’t bring a swifter end to the trial. Only when we embrace our discipline do we discover the healing that God has in mind for us.

To help you reflect on this topic, meditate with our video “Keep Christ in the Center for a Joyful Life” @

© 2023 by Terry A. Modica

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