Sunday October 15, 2023

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

“Genuine Christians are identified by the presence of God’s love within them radiating outward and blessing others.”

Good News Reflection for:

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Teresa of Jesus, virgin and doctor of the Church
October 15, 2023

Today’s Prayer:

My Lord, You have placed inside my heart the seed of Your Kingdom and the desire to follow You. Thank You Lord, for this gift, fruit of Your Love. Make it grow inside me and may it be poured out onto those who are looking for You with all their hearts. Amen.

SaintsSubscribe to Today’s Saint Quote & Prayer:

Today’s Readings:

Isaiah 25:6-10a
Psalm 23:1-6
Philipians 4:12-14,19-20
Matthew 22:1-14
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

How to handle fakers

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

In this Sunday’s Gospel reading, Jesus addresses the problem of fakers, i.e., people who try to win his friendship by being religious and showing up for the banquet of the Eucharist (Mass) while refusing to enter into a genuine relationship with God.

You know the type: They are friendly as long as it works to their own advantage. They do good deeds but only when it’s convenient. They perform Catholic rituals perfectly during Mass but at home they don’t even take time to pray. Their faith is so shallow that distractions easily keep them away from Mass. When a priest sins, they leave Catholicism. When their relationship with you requires sacrifice or repentance, they abandon you.

Those who have a genuine relationship with God are identified by the presence of God’s love within them radiating outward and blessing others, especially when it’s not easy to love.

Jesus shows us in today’s parable how to handle the fakers. The invitation to join the party is open to everyone, but when people want only the fun of being a child of God and they ignore the hard work of sharing his love with others, God sets up boundaries against them.

Think of the people you’ve invited to your banquet table, i.e., into a healthy, Godly relationship, but they’ve tried to reshape it according to their unhealthiness and immorality. We should love them but not within harmful circumstances. We should do our own part to make the relationship healthy, but when others do not do their part, they’ve already abandoned the relationship.

God asks us to carry the cross of doing everything possible to invite them to repentance, conversion, and healing. However, healthy boundaries need to remain in place, and when our efforts are fruitless, eventually God says it’s time to let go and move on.

And always, we’re to go back out into the byroads to find those who genuinely value Godly friendships.

Questions for Personal Reflection:
How many Godly, healthy friendships do you really have? Where can you go to find more people who want to be in a holy, Christ-centered, faith-building relationship with you?

Questions for Community Faith Sharing:
What makes a friendship truly good? How do you know when the time has come to say no to an unhealthy, unholy relationship? How have you handled it? Where have you gone to find support and healing and growth?

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© 2023 by Terry A. Modica

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