Wednesday June 19, 2024

Want a totally satisfying relationship with God?

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


“It’s when we believe in God’s generosity that we can safely be generous toward others.”


Good News Reflection for:

Wednesday of the 11th Week of Ordinary Time
June 19, 2024

Today’s Prayer:

Jesus, help me to take risks in Your love. Help me to understand that Your generosity and Your love for me goes far beyond what I can imagine. Amen.

Daily Prayer and ReflectionPowerful Daily Prayer & Reflection:
gnm.org/prayers/daily-prayer-and-reflection

Today’s Readings:

2 Kings 2:1, 6-14
Ps 31:(25)20-21,24
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/061924.cfm
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/daily-mass-reading-podcast-june-19-2024

Three keys to holy living

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus gives us three keys to holy living: almsgiving, praying and fasting. But the keys don’t work unless we use them in the right door, i.e., the right attitude.

The first key is almsgiving. The right attitude, which opens the door to God’s generous love, is a spirit of giving. To pick up the key and use it without hesitation or fear, we first must have an attitude of trusting God, because it’s when we believe in his generosity (even before we see it) that we can safely be generous toward others.

God promises (see Malachi 3:10) that if we bring him the whole tithe (10% of our income), he will replace it abundantly. Why? Is it because of his generous love toward us? Yes and so that we can share even more with others. Likewise, if we are generous with love, giving it freely and abundantly whether the person deserves it or not, we open the door of our own hearts, making us capable of receiving more of God’s love.

(Want to give this a test right now? Turn your key in support of Good News Ministries. We have to rely on such generosity to continue the work God is calling us to do and to pay staff and to continue expanding how we impact the world. Think about how many of your fellow readers are not able to donate anything, and lovingly increase your gift for their sake. Please visit gnm.org/donate/. And if you are one of those who cannot help this way, the please pray for those who can.)

The wrong attitude is a spirit of giving in order to get, which is an attempt to reward ourselves, like the hypocrites who “blow their own horns.” This is only briefly satisfying. The recompense given to us when our generosity is based on love, however, keeps us closely united to God. Those who love others are friends of God, and friends share freely with each other.

The second key is prayer. Jesus points out that there’s a right way to pray and a wrong way, a right attitude and a wrong attitude. The right attitude is a sacrificial spirit; we pray because we’re surrendering our own ideas of how God should help while choosing to trust in his plans. This key opens the door to God’s better ideas. The wrong attitude is bargaining with God to force him to grant our request, or reciting formula prayers in order to seem prayerful while not living out the words.

The third key is fasting. The right attitude is a humble spirit that seeks purification and discipline. Fasting originated in Judaism as a personal sacrifice on the Day of Atonement (the Hebrew community’s annual event for the forgiveness of sins); its purpose was to increase personal humility and repentance. This should also be our motive as we fast to acquire “mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph #2043). By disciplining our free will, we open the door to the Holy Spirit’s strength for resisting temptation.

With holy attitudes, our reward is a close, fulfilling, totally satisfying relationship with God.

For a Bible Study on the entire Sermon on the Mount, visit wordbytes.org/bible-study/holy-living-1.

Reflect further on this with our Faith Booster: “Power to Defeat Evil” @ https://wordbytes.org/faith-booster-minis/power-defeat-evil/

© 2024 by Terry A. Modica

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