Tuesday May 23, 2023

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

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“You are in the middle of a very important assignment right now.”


Good News Reflection for:

Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter
May 23, 2023

Today’s Prayer:

My Lord: Let me have an experience of Your love for me, so powerfully that nobody and nothing can take that experience away from me. Amen.

SaintsSubscribe to Today’s Saint Quote & Prayer:
gnm.org/SaintQuotes/

Today’s Readings:

Acts 20:17-27
Ps 68:10-11, 20-21 (with 33a)
John 17:1-11a
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/tuesday-seventh-week-easter
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/daily-mass-reading-podcast-may-23-2023

Finishing the work despite hardships

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

If we could foresee the hardships that lay ahead of us on our paths of service in the kingdom of God, we’d come up with good excuses not to do it. (Hey, we do that already, just by imagining possible hardships! No wonder there are so many of us who do so little ministry or volunteer services or fighting against injustices.)

As we see in our first reading, St. Paul knew that going to Jerusalem would mean “chains and hardships.” So why did he go? Wouldn’t he be just as useful to the Lord if he stayed where he was accepted and appreciated?

Back in 1996, during prayer as I was praising God for the Good News Evangelization School that we were holding in my parish, I felt God ask me, “Are you willing to suffer to become a better minister for my kingdom?” I wrestled with him over that question until he reminded me: “I’m safe. Trust me.” And thus began a series of chains and hardships that have not yet ended. And I am very grateful for them all, thanks be to the Holy Spirit for continually helping me learn from them and by sharing what I’ve learned.

St. Paul trusted God, even while he knew that he was not safe from those who would imprison him and eventually kill him for preaching the truth. What makes a person willing to say yes to God’s calling when it’s a certainty that it won’t always be easy and fun, when being safe in God does not mean being safe from persecution and hardships?

Paul answered this question. He said, “I put no value on my life. I only value finishing the service that the Lord Jesus has assigned to me.” Jesus also answered it in John 17:1-11: “I have given you glory, Father, by accomplishing the work you gave me to do.”

Which matters more: your life (your comfort, your security, your freedom from problems) or God’s work, which he gave you to accomplish and which no one else can do the way you can do it? — work that you were specifically designed to do, work that will be more fulfilling than any other activities.

We all have our assignments. You are in the middle of a very important one right now. Recognize the worth of what you’re doing; notice how it glorifies God, how it makes a difference for his kingdom. If you don’t see the difference yet, well, notice the difference it’s made in you as it’s helped to shape you more into the image of Christ. Realize the value of your hardships: how they’re increasing your holiness, your compassion, and your ability to help others.

My sufferings, as distressing as they have been sometimes, have greatly enhanced the ministry I do now. They account for many of the insights that I share with you in these daily Good News Reflections.

Don’t focus on the hardships; keep your eyes on the goal — the finish line, heaven — and on the Lord for whom you’re doing this. If we quit, we forfeit our souls to the world, where we are not safe at all. Only in God are we truly safe. He kisses our nail wounds and raises us above the trials into his warm embrace and cozy lap, where we are always safely loved.

To reflect more on this, use our video, “The Hidden Key that Unlocks the Power of God” @ https://gnm-media.org/hidden-key-unlocks-power-god/.

© 2023 by Terry A. Modica


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