Good News Reflections


Good News Reflection

Today's Good News: The more difficult someone is to love, the more necessary it is to rely on the Holy Spirit.

Good News Reflection for:

Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Memorial of Saint Bernardine of Siena, Priest
May 20, 2022

Today’s Prayer:

I thank You, Lord, because You have chosen me and desire to show me all Your love and greatness. May my loving actions toward others be a sign of this friendship. Amen.

Today's Readings:

Acts 15:22-31
Ps 57:8-10, 12
John 15:12-17
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/052022.cfm
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/2022-05-20

Slavery or friendship?

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

Servanthood is an essential aspect of true Christian living. Jesus emphasized it during the Last Supper, saying that he came not to be served, but to serve, and that likewise we should serve one another. In his parables, he often referred to believers as "servants" of the Kingdom. But in today's Gospel reading, Jesus says that he wants us to be his friends, not his slaves. What's the difference between a slave and a servant? Which one are you?

A servant can be either a slave or a friend. Friends serve each other because they care about each other. No one is superior to the other, no one is the master. However, when we fear someone, such as the employer who might fire us, that person becomes our master. Our attitude of fearfulness enslaves us.

Slaves serve out of obedience, based on duty and obligation and the fear of punishment or retaliation. Friends serve each other with an attitude of love.

To determine if you're living as a slave or as Christ's friend, ask yourself: "Do I eagerly and happily jump into doing the will of God (even the unpleasant tasks) or do I complain about it?" Maybe the complaint comes in the form of excuses for not doing the work or rationalizations that God isn't really asking you to do it.

When God wants us to do a difficult task or the Church teaches a law that contradicts the way we want to live, if we obey as a slave, it's only because we're following orders. There's no joy in the service, because it's not a gift of love.

To trade this for a real friendship with Jesus, we have to provide the service as a "favor" for our Beloved. Only then will we discover the blessings of the task or the benefits of the law. Trying to analyze it first won't help, because we'll find plenty of logical reasons to disobey.

When we obey God because we love him and desire to please him, and at the same time we appreciate all that he's doing for us, we're in a healthy give-and-take friendship with him. Then, when he asks us to "love one another" (as Jesus commands in the final sentence), we actually have the desire to love everyone, even those who are difficult to love. We love them because we love God adoringly and care about everyone who matters to him. What's important to him becomes important to us.

When loving others seems impossible, God makes it possible so that we can obey him. The Holy Spirit gifts us with a supernatural love for the people we don't feel like loving. The more difficult someone is to love, the more necessary it is to rely on the Holy Spirit. Our energy to do this comes from reflecting upon the wonderful friendship that God has with us.

To help you reflect further on this, go to our WordByte called: "The Blessings of True Humility" @ https://wordbytes.org/spiritual-growth/beatitudes.


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© 2022 by Terry Ann Modica
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