Good News Reflections:
Making scripture meaningful to your daily life
by Terry Modica
“We are the answer to Christ’s prayer whenever we humbly love one another.”
Good News Reflection for:
Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Memorial of Saint Bede the Venerable, priest and doctor of the Church
May 25, 2023
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for opening my heart and revealing Yourself to me. Thank You for preparing a special place for me in the eternal love, beauty, and holiness of the Father together with You and my brothers and sisters. Amen.
Today’s Saint Quote & Prayer:
Acts 22:30; 23:6-11
Ps 16:1-2a, 5, 7-11
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
What is required to answer the prayer of Jesus?
After I became Catholic in 1977, I read today’s Gospel and said, “Wow Jesus, your prayer is taking a long time to get answered! The number of break-away denominations just keeps multiplying.” And seeing divisive behavior within the Catholic Church, I’ve said, “Wow Jesus, your prayer isn’t even being answered here!”
Or maybe I was just looking for the answer in the wrong places.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that “Christ bestowed unity on his Church from the beginning”, and that unity “subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose” (see para. 820). It’s a gift. It’s not something that we make happen — it’s already ours. “But the Church must always pray and work to maintain, reinforce, and perfect the unity that Christ wills for her.”
The unity we have in the Catholic Church comes from accepting that Christ is the head and that he chose to lead us through Saint Peter and all the popes and bishops who came from his line of ordination — despite their imperfections and sins. Our unity comes from the Church Magisterium’s protection of and explanations of the teachings of Christ, and if we choose to remain in unity with Christ by learning from the Magisterium, Jesus protects us from false teachings and worldly compromises.
The moral relativism that’s rampant in our modern society has produced a new type of Catholic: “Protestant Catholics” who protest against Church teachings by making up their own minds about what’s sinful and what’s not. Instead of going to Confession (for example) and by downplaying the importance of participating in the Eucharistic Liturgy with a church community, they practice a faith of “I only go directly to God.”
A direct connection to Christ is only part of a good faith life. No one is so pure and holy and wise that we don’t need help knowing and understanding the teachings of Christ — not even the greatest of Saints. The Church Magisterium protects and provides a solid foundation for a good personal relationship with God. But how many of us actually take time to learn from the writings of the Church?
“Protestant Catholics” choose for themselves what to believe. If it’s contrary to what a priest or a bishop or even a pope asserts from the Magisterium, there is no changing of the mind based on respect for their authority. There is no thought of “Oh, I’m wrong, I need to repent.”
We all need to humbly study whatever teachings we dislike. We disagree with Church teachings when we don’t understand their value. The most common example of this is the teaching against artificial birth control. Many Catholics disregard it, because they don’t bother to research it enough to discover how it enhances their ability to love and be loved.
Can Christ’s prayer be answered today? Yes! We are the answer to his prayer whenever we humbly love one another. The Church Magisterium explains how to do this in every situation of modern life.
For more on this topic, use our WordBytes, “A Lesson from Cracked Glass about Victory” @ https://wordbytes.org/food-for-faith/cracked-glass-victory/.
© 2023 by Terry A. Modica
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It’s important to separate selfishness from lack of orthodoxy. Ecumenism that invites pedastery and homosexuality is dead wrong. Chastising Catholics for worshiping in the TLM is dead wrong.