Monday October 16, 2023

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

“Our zeal for holy living feels like condemnation to those who do not want to live the same way.”

Good News Reflection for:

Monday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, virgin
October 16, 2023

Today’s Prayer:

Lord: I want to discover Your will in every situation. I want to surrender all of myself to You. I want You to be the center of my life from now on! Amen.

SaintsSubscribe to Today’s Saint Quote & Prayer:

Today’s Readings:

Romans 1:1-7
Ps 98:1-4
Luke 11:29-32
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

Are you a religious fanatic?

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

Our responsorial Psalm today says: “The Lord has made known his salvation.” What do you need his salvation for in your life today?

If we want Jesus to save us from whatever evil is going on in our lives, well, what are we waiting for? He’s already made his help available to us! If we want him to save us from the inner turmoil or anxieties or addictions or other disabling problems that have a hold on us, why are we still unhealed? He has already offered his power to overcome it!

Do we allow the good news of Jesus to penetrate every area of our lives? Is he really the Lord of our lives — completely?

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus warns that the example of repentance given by the Ninevites is a condemnation of those who refuse to avail themselves of his saving power. There are always plenty of signs when we’re doing something wrong, but unremorseful sinners reject every sign that they don’t want to see.

The modern-day Ninevites are those of us who have become excited about God’s saving love after recognizing our sins and regretting them, turning to God and finding his forgiveness and mercy. We’re so excited that we work very hard to remain in God and to reject unGodly ways. Others call us “religious fanatics”, because they feel uncomfortable around our example of holiness. Our zeal for holy living feels like condemnation to those who do not want to live the same way.

There is such a thing as being too fanatical. But we’d better not assume we can judge a so-called fanatic’s heart, because we might be condemning ourselves! Years ago, I witnessed a lady shuffling on her knees through the church on a very hard floor every morning as she prayed all the Stations of the Cross. Was she too fanatical? Or was I merely unwilling to offer this kind of penance myself?

When we sin, we’re condemned by the ways that other people avoid the same sin. But if we believe in the sign of Jonah (the death and resurrection of Jesus), we are free from this condemnation. There is no condemnation when we give Christ full Lordship over our lives, increase our zeal for holiness, and practice a faith that’s charged up from knowing God’s love and power.

A true (healthy and holy) fanatic is a Christian who’s excited about the awesome partnership of “God and me” working together to overcome every inner turmoil, every source of anxiety, every addiction, and all other disabling problems, while recognizing that this is a long process, and without condemning those who don’t work on their own purifications faster.

Lord, help me to become more fanatical!

For more on this, watch our video, “Someone Cares About You” @

© 2023 by Terry A. Modica

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