Tuesday November 21, 2023

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

“Jesus wants you to rely on his Holy Spirit instead of your abilities.”

Good News Reflection for:

Tuesday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
November 21, 2023

Today’s Prayer:

Everything is well worth it, Lord, when I discover that Your love is everything for me. Amen.

SaintsSubscribe to Today’s Saint Quote & Prayer:

Today’s Readings:

2 Maccabees 6:18-31
Ps 3:2-7
Luke 19:1-10
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

Not too short on grace

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

In today’s Gospel reading, we have Zacchaeus, a man who was too short to see Jesus when surrounded by a crowd. But he was not short in determination! He was so eager to experience Jesus that he did something that no one else was doing: He climbed a tree. Maybe it was embarrassing. Maybe people thought he was weird. Maybe someone tried to talk him down. Maybe the tree was rough and tore his skin. But that didn’t stop him.

Jesus was very pleased by his determination and creative problem-solving. Our Lord singled him out to give him special attention and to dine with him and assure him of his salvation.

What is too “short” in your life? What in your spirituality is too small? And how can you ingeniously overcome this handicap so that you can see Jesus better? He’s waiting for you to want him so much that your motivation is pure and your determination is strong. Then he will pay you a special visit and dine with you at the banquet of the Eucharist and assure you of his eternal love.

Does it seem like your prayer power is too small? That’s because Jesus won’t snap his fingers like a magic genie to answer your prayers. He wants to meet you in your problems and walk with you in the darkness and bring his saving grace to your need.

It is right and good to feel inadequate when facing difficulties. Jesus wants you to rely on his Holy Spirit instead of your abilities. When we become aware that we’re short on whatever is needed to endure a trial or to love the unlikable or to reach the hearts of those who are closed, we realize how much we must depend upon God. Through this, we grow in humility and grace.

Thanks to his humility, Zacchaeus could ignore the mockery of those who might have scoffed at his tree-climbing enthusiasm. Because of his humility, Zacchaeus repented of his greed by over-generously giving back to the people he’d defrauded. Due to such enthusiastic humility, Zacchaeus had the honor of receiving the Lord into his home.

In such humility, Zacchaeus received abundant grace. After all, it was God’s grace that enabled him to think outside the box of normal behavior and climb a tree, and it was God’s grace that helped him repent of his sins.

God is continually offering us all the help that we need to live in holiness. Zacchaeus responded to that grace; look at the results! The same can happen for you in your day-to-day struggle to live a good and holy life.

Whatever we’re “too short” on, in whatever ways we feel inadequate, there is never any shortage of grace. All we have to do is realize that we need — and want — God’s help. Once we do, we enter into the unfolding graces of God’s plan.

To meditate more on this, use our “Holy Spirit Novena” @ https://gnm.org/prayers/holy-spirit-novena/

© 2023 by Terry A. Modica

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