Friday April 12, 2024

Joy that lasts comes from trusting

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

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“We can remain joyful if we remain aware that we are loved passionately by the Lord.”


Good News Reflection for:

Friday of the Second Week of Easter
April 12, 2024

Today’s Prayer:

Lord: I want You to be my joy that exceeds the circumstances I have to face in my everyday life. Amen.

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

Today’s Readings:

Acts 5:34-42
Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14
John 6:1-15
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/041224.cfm
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/daily-mass-reading-podcast-april-12-2024

Joy that lasts

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

In today’s first reading and our Gospel reading for today, we see two different sources of joy. In the Gospel, the people witnessed a miracle and got their bellies filled free of charge. They were so happy that they wanted to make Jesus their king and live like this all the time.

When he rejected their nomination, how long do you think their joy lasted? Certainly, some lost it by the time they arrived back home, because the walk was too hot or too long. Or they complained about how the fish was cooked or what kind of bread should have been served. Or when they got home, they had to deal with some jerk who’d never met Jesus.

In the scene from the Book of Acts, the apostles were joyful, too, but not because something good had happened. They were not even rejoicing over the fact that they had been released from prison. They were joyful because they were suffering! It thrilled them to be judged worthy of ill-treatment for their ministry.

Were they deranged? Were they masochists? Of course not. Then how could suffering give them joy?

Today’s responsorial Psalm holds the key: The Lord is our refuge. Joy that lasts comes from being able to snuggle in the love of the Lord. Joy that fades comes from relying on life’s circumstances. No miracle provides lasting joy, but when we gaze on the loveliness of the Lord — keeping our focus on him — our joy can continue forever. No matter what the circumstances, we can remain joyful if we remain aware that we are loved passionately by the Lord.

Instead of focusing on our troubles, we look at Jesus and take refuge in his love. When we allow evil to snatch our attention, we feel hopeless and angry. But when we refocus on Jesus, we can joyfully praise God for the goodness he will resurrect from our sufferings.

Granted, this is not easy; I struggle to stay focused on Jesus, too! Our normal reaction to anything that causes suffering is to complain about it. While we complain, we’re looking squarely at it. We cannot see God’s hand blessing us.

How do we look at and see an invisible God? By scouring through the scriptures to find the promises that relate to our situation. By reading the lives of saints to absorb their view of God. By asking others to point out what they can see of God’s hand in our troubles.

Anything we do that puts Christ into the center of our vision — listening to Christian music, attending Mass, or joining a small faith-sharing community — frees us to experience the joy that lasts forever.

To help you reflect further on this, go to our podcast: “The 4-second prayer that defeats Satan” @ https://gnm-media.org/the-4-second-prayer-that-defeats-satan/.

© 2024 by Terry A. Modica


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