Friday May 26, 2023

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

“A little bit of courage is all God needs. The Holy Spirit provides the fullness.”

Good News Reflection for:

Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, priest
May 26, 2023

Today’s Prayer:

Dearest Lord, when I am worried about my bad choices, You ask me to follow You and put my whole trust in You. How great is Your love for me! You do not measure the blessings You have for me according to my failures! Amen.

SaintsToday’s Saint Quote & Prayer:

Today’s Readings:

Acts 25:13b-21
Ps 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20ab
John 21:15-19
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

Courageous messengers empowered by the Spirit

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

Are you a courageous messenger of the Gospel? It’s only possible with the Holy Spirit. Without this help from God, we fail due to our inadequacies and we miss great opportunities because we’re afraid of failing.

Imagine how St. Paul might have felt in today’s first reading. We marvel at his courage as he continued serving the kingdom of God even during his trial and imprisonment. Could you do that? Could I? YES!!! But only thanks to the Holy Spirit.

In our Gospel today, we see St. Peter receiving his vocation as the first pope, i.e., Christ’s primary shepherd of the Church. Imagine how he felt about that! His only qualifications for this hugely important responsibility were (a) remaining with Jesus for three years (less time than it takes to get a college degree, not to mention seminary training), and (b) uhhhhh …. ummmm …. okay, here’s something: Peter had a little bit of courage to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, which is why he was willing to step out of the boat and walk on water, for a moment.

A little bit of courage is all God needs. The Holy Spirit provides the fullness. This made all the difference in Peter’s life. Compare his lack of courage on Good Friday, when he was afraid of admitting to a few people that he knew Jesus, to the boundless courage he had on Pentecost, when he preached to a huge crowd even though a short while earlier he and the other apostles were huddled fearfully in a locked room.

Consider Paul. He started with a lot of courage, and he used it to persecute the Christians. What the Holy Spirit provided to him was an understanding of who Jesus really was and how to use his courage to spread the truth.

What do you need from the Holy Spirit so that you can be a courageous messenger of the Gospel? Ask God to help you dig down beneath the surface of your life, into the depths of your heart, with full self-honesty, to find your answer. Then take your needs to church on Pentecost and leave at the end of Mass ready to live a life guided by the Holy Spirit, knowing that he will provide what’s lacking in you.

And use Saint Pope John Paul the Great’s prayer to the Holy Spirit, from 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! The Church and the world need you. Come, Holy Spirit, and make ever more fruitful the charisms you have bestowed on us. Give new strength and missionary zeal to these sons and daughters of yours…. Open their hearts; renew their Christian commitment to the world. Make them courageous messengers of the Gospel, witnesses to the risen Jesus Christ, the Redeemer and Savior. Strengthen their love and their fidelity to the Church.” Amen!

And here’s a Good News Prayer to the Holy Spirit:

© 2023 by Terry A. Modica

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