Monday May 22, 2023

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

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“To live fully by faith requires being fully committed to an active Christian lifestyle, relying on the Holy Spirit.”

Good News Reflection for:

Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter
May 22, 2023

Today’s Prayer:

Beloved Lord Jesus: Give me perseverance and steadiness to never cease looking at You and listening to Your voice when I am in the midst of trials. Amen.

SaintsSubscribe to Today’s Saint Quote & Prayer:

Today’s Readings:

Acts 19:1-8
Ps 68:2-7ab (with 33a)
John 16:29-33
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

Do you really believe?

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

As we begin the final week before Pentecost, Jesus asks us, in today’s Gospel: Do you now believe — that I came from God? That I am God? That I am your Lord? That I love you faithfully and unconditionally? That what I say is true — all the time? “Do you really believe?”

In the first reading, St. Paul asks: “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” That answer to that one is: Yes, during baptism we received the fullness of God’s presence. The Holy Spirit is the presence of Christ our Savior within us.

But — do you really believe this?

There’s a difference between receiving God’s Spirit by sacrament and living in the Spirit as a faith-filled believer. To live fully by faith requires being fully committed to an active Christian lifestyle, relying on the Holy Spirit to help us become holier and holier each day, continually purifying ourselves so that we are ever-increasingly united to the fullness of God through the gifts of all the sacraments and in the Church community.

True believers have a trusting relationship with God. They regret their sins and realize they’re forgiven because of what Jesus did on Good Friday. They understand that with this forgiveness they’re able to go to heaven because of what he did on Easter. They want to imitate him by laying down their lives for others in loving service. None of this is possible without the Holy Spirit.

How do you know that the Holy Spirit is active in you? Speaking in tongues and uttering God-inspired prophecies, like we see in the story from Acts, are not the only indications, nor are they necessary. They are just a few examples of outward signs. Read carefully what Jesus tells us in this Gospel passage: True belief brings peace, even in the midst of suffering!

Again, this is only possible by relying on the Holy Spirit. We lose peace when we rely on our own resources and our limited perceptions of the problems we face. Faith, hope, and inner peace come from relying on the Spirit of Christ, who is the Higher Power behind all of our overcomings, and who lives within each of us like a fountain of grace waiting to be released.

Saint Pope John Paul the Great gave us this beautiful prayer to the Holy Spirit (May 30, 1998): “Come, Holy Spirit, come and renew the face of the earth! Come with your seven gifts! Come, Spirit of Life, Spirit of Communion and Love!”

Let us journey toward heaven with this prayer daily on our lips.

© 2023 by Terry A. Modica

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