Friday June 2, 2023

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

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“Pray first for your enemies; then you’ll really be moving mountains!”


Good News Reflection for:

Friday of the 8th Week in Ordinary Time
June 2, 2023

Today’s Prayer:

Lord, make my faith grow in a heart that’s free from resentments, rooted in Your love. May my trust in You surpass all human logic.

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

Today’s Readings:

Sirach 44:1, 9-13
Ps 149:1b-6a, 9b
Mark 11:11-26
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/060223.cfm
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/2021-05-28

Moving mountains

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus curses the fig tree, and within 24 hours it withers up all the way down to its roots. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that to the weeds in our lawns! There’s a burr-bearing bush in my backyard that I can’t successfully curse even with potent chemicals. And yet, Jesus says that “if you are ready to believe that you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer, it shall be done for you.”

So why are we such prayer-wimps? We do believe that God can answer our prayers, and we work hard to believe that he does want to answer our prayers, and sometimes we do muster up the courage to say: “I do believe I will receive what I ask for, I do believe, I do believe, I do believe.”

But we don’t. Not really.

Give yourself a system check. Is your belief system so intact that you have absolutely no anxiety, worry, fear, or doubt regarding each situation that you’re covering in prayer? Neither is mine. Okay, so we’re falling short of what Jesus told us: “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours.” Can’t God, whose power and love is infinite, make up for our lack of belief and answer our prayers regardless of how uncertain we feel?

Yes! And he does every day! It’s the only reason our prayers have been answered at all. But it’s not a lack of belief that causes doubt. It’s a lack of love.

We cannot truly believe that God will answer our prayers if we don’t fully believe in his loving concern for our needs and our desires. If what we ask for is holy, if what we pray for is healthy, and if it contributes to goodness in the world, then of course God’s great love is both an immediate and ongoing response to our prayers. There is no reason why our prayers would fail — no reason except our disbelief in God’s love.

Disbelief in his love is evidenced by our unforgiveness toward others. It’s no accident that Jesus instructs us to forgive others while explaining how to move mountains. What we sow is what we reap. If we don’t forgive others, we rob ourselves of prayer power because unforgiveness divides us from God.

Unforgiveness means we say no to love. How can we command fig trees or move mountains if we disconnect ourselves from God’s love?

Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of people you still need to forgive — and don’t forget to include yourself! Then choose to forgive them all, whether they deserve it or not. Forgiving them does not mean you approve of their hurtful behavior. Forgiveness frees up your love, which frees up your relationship with God, which frees up your prayer power.

Pray first for your enemies; then you’ll really be moving mountains!

For more on this, use our video, “He heals the brokenhearted” @ https://gnm-media.org/he-heals-the-brokenhearted/.

© 2023 by Terry A. Modica


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