Thursday October 5, 2023

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


“Our everyday lives either witness or fail to witness about God’s true nature.”


Good News Reflection for:

Thursday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Faustina Kowalska, virgin
October 5, 2023

Today’s Prayer:

Lord Jesus: You fill me with Your love and send me to share it. Preserve me from every temptation and distraction so that I do not lose this goal. May those who know me learn to believe in You through me. Amen.

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

Today’s Readings:

Nehemiah 8:1-12
Ps 19:8-11
Luke 10:1-12
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/100523.cfm
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/daily-mass-reading-podcast-october-5-2023

Evangelizing as lambs of God

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

Jesus wants us all to be workers in the Lord’s harvest. In today’s Gospel reading, he’s commissioning 72 disciples and sending them forth on evangelization missions. Notice that he’s not limiting this important work to just the Top Twelve Disciples. He sent forth a large contingent of followers, and then he went on to say that there weren’t enough of them.

Today he’s still doing this at the end of every Mass. When the priest gives us the final blessing to send us forth, it’s not really him doing it — it’s Jesus himself!

Is he still saying that there aren’t enough of us working this harvest?

Our lives — how we respond to crises, how we treat others, how we rely on faith when there are reasons to doubt, how we deal with suffering, how much we care about the future of our planet and protecting God’s creations, and what we do about injustices within and outside our churches — are the harvesting tools that evangelize.

We are all commissioned for this mission by virtue of our baptisms. Our everyday lives either witness or fail to witness about God’s true nature.

Furthermore, Jesus emphasized that we should evangelize as lambs among wolves. What is a lamb? Remember that in Christian symbolism, Jesus is the Lamb that was slain for our sins, and yes, sometimes we too have to make difficult sacrifices in order to convey God’s love. But not all of the time! Jesus was the Lamb of God before he went to the cross. He was the Lamb throughout his ministry, and he is still the Lamb.

Being a lamb means being like Jesus in every moment of every day in ordinary ways. The opposite is to be a wolf, one who devours the weak. We become wolves if we attack others for their weak or non-existent faith. We are wolves disguised as lambs if we try to guilt people into going to Mass or force them to obey Church laws or beat the love of God into them by nagging and harping on what is wrong about them.

Wolves tear others down. Lambs inspire faith, and faith inspires a personal relationship with Jesus, and this relationship inspires a desire to spread God’s love, and this desire inspires the straying sheep to return to Mass and become active in the faith community.

Jesus also explained that when we reach out to others, we should evangelize them without carrying our personal baggage into the encounter. The baggage that we might be tempted to bring into a conversation about faith includes feelings of inferiority (“God cannot use me, I can’t make a difference”) and feelings of superiority (“They’re bigger sinners than I am”).

Before going out into the world, we need to ask: “What do I tend to bring to others that is not Christ-like?” Ask Jesus to help you unload this baggage at the door.

Reflect more on this using our video: “Strengthen Your Spirit for the Journey” @ https://gnm-media.org/strengthen-your-spirit-for-the-journey/

© 2023 by Terry A. Modica

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