Friday November 17, 2023

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


“To lose our lives in God means surrendering our attempts to be God and letting Him take charge.”


Good News Reflection for:

Friday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious
November 17, 2023

Today’s Prayer:

Holy Father: May Your Spirit guide me always and may I understand correctly whatever You allow to happen on my path. Amen.

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

Today’s Readings:

Wisdom 13:1-9
Ps 19:2-5ab
Luke 17:26-37
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/111723.cfm
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/daily-mass-reading-podcast-november-17-2023

What’s being left behind?

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

Are you ready to leave behind whatever is hurting your holiness?

Jesus says in today’s Gospel passage: “Where the body is, there also the vultures will gather.” Another translation states it more graphically: “Wherever the carcass is, there the vultures will gather.”

I have witnessed this metaphor as a literal truth when I visited a parish that had little life. It noticeably lacked soul-stirring energy in its liturgies. Its ministries weren’t growing, the youth program was hardly spiritual, and adult faith formation was practically non-existent. Was it just a coincidence that vultures frequently roosted on that church’s steeple cross?

A parish thrives only when the Holy Spirit is allowed to blow life into the body.

Let’s look at the entire passage; although it teaches about the Second Coming of Christ, we can also understand it in terms of our lives here and now. Some people “will be taken” into a life of holiness while many around them are left behind. Noah was taken aboard the ark while others drowned in their sinfulness. Lot was rescued from the evil in Sodom while others were destroyed by it.

And you are being taken to higher levels of spirituality and a closer friendship with God, but sadly, you’ve had to leave behind some of your family members and friends who have refused to put much energy into prayer and faith formation and the call of holiness.

When there is no striving for holiness, there is destruction, deterioration, and eventually spiritual death. The road of holiness is a very challenging life. It’s far easier to get pulled into the downward spiral of sin and addictions.

Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, Jesus said. We’re trying to be our own savior when we lie (it’s an attempt to protect ourselves) or cheat (to give ourselves an unfair advantage), when we choose the pleasures of marriage without the commitment of a sacramental marriage (we take the relationship on our own terms rather than by Christ’s sacramental presence), when we make up our own rules based on what feels good, and so on.

In other words, we sacrifice our eternal souls for temporary solutions.

Whoever forfeits their life will keep it, Jesus said. To lose our lives in God means surrendering our attempts to be God and letting him take charge. Only by accepting the reality that his ways, his rules, and his examples of love are better than our own can we find God’s life of peace in the midst of difficulties and temptations.

Noah forfeited a normal life to build a crazy ark far from any ocean, and he forfeited his home and land and friendships to go into the ark. Lot likewise forfeited everything to leave Sodom. What are you being asked to forfeit? What are you still clinging to that you need to leave behind before it’s too late?

For more on this topic, watch our video, “What’s blocking your supernatural faith?” @ https://gnm-media.org/the-sin-that-blocks-faith/.

© 2023 by Terry A. Modica

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