Wednesday August 30, 2023

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

“We are all called to be God’s instruments in this world, making a difference devoutly, justly and blamelessly.”

Good News Reflection for:

Wednesday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time
August 30, 2023

Today’s Prayer:

My Lord: Help me discover the corrections that You want to make in me, when you let me go through trials. I thank You and praise You because You draw me closer to You, with the Father’s true love. Amen.

SaintsSubscribe to Today’s Saint Quote & Prayer:

Today’s Readings:

1 Thessalonians 2:9-13
Ps 139: (1) 7-12
Matthew 23:27-32
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

True Christian leadership

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

Our first reading today shows us what true Christian leadership is like. It means working “day and night” (i.e., endlessly and tirelessly) to serve, not burden, the Body of Christ. Truly Christian leaders (whether priests, bishops, superiors, CEOs, business managers, or lay people heading ministries) serve devoutly, justly and blamelessly, replacing the desire to control with the desire to empower. The preaching of Christ is made real by living what we exhort others to do.

Putting this into context with the bigger picture of the full Gospel, we know that Saint Paul was not implying that we must work every day and night, without rest. We become a burden to others when we work too fast and too long and become too tired to remain devout, just, and blameless. Even Jesus took time off to have his energy restored.

The Gospel reading today shows us what false (or tired) Christian leadership is like. What appears to be holy on the outside is merely a whitewashed wickedness. The light of Christ, which might actually be there, is blocked by wrong motives, pride, a desire to be superior and control others, and other vocation abuses. False Christian leaders mask the darkness within by painting themselves in white. It’s an attempt to fake the light of Christ. Their own efforts will bear witness against them.

We are all called to be Christian leaders in one place or another, serving the kingdom of God in our homes, our workplaces, our community, and anyplace else where we have the opportunity to set a good example. In everything, we are all called to be God’s instruments in this world, making a difference devoutly, justly and blamelessly, preaching not so much by what we say but more by the way we live the faith.

As St. Paul said, the word of God must be at work in us if we’re true believers in Christ. Do we really believe in his way of living out the message of salvation? None of us are perfect. Although we desire to be holy, we sometimes fail because of wrong motives, pride, and other abuses of our Christian vocations. If we are not changed daily by the truth in the scriptures, if we are not transformed by the Eucharist, if we are not examining our consciences continually and seeking new ways to grow in holiness, then we slip into hypocrisy.

What will you do today to help others experience Jesus? We won’t be successful unless we first humbly recognize the ways we have become hypocrites.

For more on this, use our WordByte called, “The Passion to Evangelize Boldly” @

© 2023 by Terry A. Modica

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