Saturday April 20, 2024

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


“The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.” (John 6:63)


Good News Reflection for:

Saturday of the Third Week of Easter
April 20, 2024

Today’s Readings:

Acts 9:31-42
Psalm 116:12-17
John 6:60-69
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/042024.cfm
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/daily-mass-reading-podcast-april-20-2024

Jesus wants YOU to have miraculous faith

Prepare for the Holy Spirit!

I grew up without the Holy Spirit. The Third Person of the Trinity was a stranger to me, a ghost, too ethereal for a personal relationship. Jesus has always been my “best friend” for as long as I can remember. But I lost him when I explored the occult in search of the supernatural. During my childhood, I wanted to know if the supernatural stuff I read about in the Bible still happens today. I was told, “No, that was only for back then, to get the Church started.”

Not satisfied with that answer, I began to look for evidence of the miraculous. I thought I finally found it when a Ouija board spelled out answers that my younger sister and I did not know. I was 12. At age 14, I took an active interest in ghosts and haunted houses. I formed a “Psychic Society” with friends and began to hold regular seances. From there, other forms of the occult became very appealing. By the time I was 20 and newly married, I lost interest in going to church and reading anything Christian. I no longer believed that I needed Jesus.

Jesus rescued me from that when I was 22 years old. He sent to our home for a Florida vacation a Catholic friend who had become a priest. I noticed that he had something I didn’t, so I followed him to an interdenominational Charismatic Conference (Kansas City, 1977) where I met the Holy Spirit on a close, personal friendship level.

Finally! I learned that miracles were not just for Biblical days! The supernatural event on the altar where bread and wine become the actual body and blood of Jesus was very appealing. The Holy Spirit gave me an instant assurance that this was very genuine. I witnessed healings and other miracles, too. And because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, God showed me that the occult is a different sort of supernatural power. One by one, the Spirit of Truth convicted me of all the deceptions of the occult. One by one, my Protestant misconceptions about Catholicism were replaced by understanding and the desire to become fully committed to the Catholic Church.

What has the Spirit of Truth been talking to you about? If it is the Spirit that Jesus sent to you, then what he’s saying gives you peace, joy, and reassurance while at the same time calling you to repentance in the areas of your life where you are not 100% whole-heartedly living the Christian truths. The Holy Spirit is your Advocate, your greatest ally and cheerleader. The Holy Spirit gives you peace when evidence tells you to be afraid. The Holy Spirit gives you courage to stand up for the truth.

The Holy Spirit is much, much more than a figment of the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. Jesus wants all of us to have a personal, on-fire relationship with the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. Otherwise we will continue to be like the first Apostles before Pentecost. After the Holy Spirit baptized them with the fire of faith, they became such good shepherds of Christianity that the world was soon changed by it.

When we have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, the words of Jesus set us on fire with the desire to heal, nourish, provide, and evangelize with boldness and compassion. So — our calling is clear: We must do everything we can to open ourselves to everything that the Holy Spirit wants to do in us and through us, and we must invite others to do the same, including and especially the shepherds who are called to lead their flocks to lives that are activated by the Holy Spirit. The eternal souls of sinners are at stake!

The Church needs this now more than ever. The world needs this now more than ever.

For WordBytes about the Holy Spirit and stories of miracles, visit wordbytes.org/holy-spirit.

© 2024 by Terry A. Modica

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