Wednesday May 24, 2023

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

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“We live in the world so that we can infect it with the kingdom of God, and bring the truth to it.”


Good News Reflection for:

Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Easter
May 24, 2023

Today’s Prayer:

Jesus, I know that I do not belong to this world, but here I am and I need You! Thank You for praying for me! Thank You for sanctifying Yourself for me! I beg You for the grace to be aware of Your deep and endless love for me and to be always faithful to the Truth. Amen.

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

Today’s Readings:

Acts 20:28-38
Ps 68:29-30, 33-36ab
John 17:11b-19
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/052423.cfm
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/daily-mass-reading-podcast-may-24-2023

Self-sufficient but not independent

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

To be holy means to be different, set apart from the world. In Christ’s prayer of today’s Gospel story, we see what makes us different: We belong to the kingdom of heaven because Jesus has consecrated us to the truth (i.e., to the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth).

We live in the world so that we can infect it with the kingdom of God. We live in the world so that we can bring the truth to it. The Spirit of Truth works through us to carry holy ethics into business, into families, into politics, and into every aspect of society.

In our first reading, we get a glimpse of St. Paul’s influence on business and community affairs. He transformed the town of Ephesus by living the Gospel. Although he was a powerful preacher of the truth, his words were backed up by the holiness of the Spirit of Truth that lived within him.

If we are extraordinary homilists or religious education teachers or daily reflection writers, but we are not preaching the same message with our daily, person-to-person behavior, the gift of preaching is being used scandalously. It’s a terrible, far-reaching sin. It would be better to lose our voice than for souls to be wounded or lost on our account.

Notice how Paul set an example. He could have rightfully asked the church community to finance his living expenses, but he worked as a tent-maker to take care of his own needs and to help his companions. Thus, he influenced the ethics of Ephesian society by showing that it’s important to be self-sufficient for the sake of “helping the weak.” He took care of his own needs to the extent that he could, not to be self-sufficient in an isolated sort of way, but to be generous toward others.

I have the same reason for not charging a fee for anything provided by Good News Ministries. Since its founding in 1995, my husband’s salary in the highly stressful computer industry enabled me to do the ministry work of GNM without pay for the first eight years, and then for very low pay a few more years. I still earn far less of what’s normal for the head of an organization that’s as busy and massive as GNM, and I have not permitted a raise for myself in 3 years, nor do I intend to receive a raise for the next few years, preferring instead to direct increases in support from benefactors to other staff and to expanding the tools and resources that will change more lives around the world.

Generous donations by people who support Good News Ministries are financial sacrifices that they make to supplement the sacrifices that my team and I make so that together we are “helping the weak.”

Self-sufficiency can feel like independence, and independence can easily lead to separation from community when we pridefully try to take care of all of our needs by ourselves. Living the Gospel means giving and receiving so that we have more to give.

If you have needs that are not being met, the misery you feel is a warning flag. Either you’re not availing yourself of what God wants to give you through others, or others are saying no to being used by God. As St. Paul demonstrated, by receiving what we need and sharing what we have, we transform the world.

For more on this, use our video, “How I met the Holy Spirit” @ https://gnm-media.org/how-i-met-the-holy-spirit/.

© 2023 by Terry A. Modica


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