Wednesday’s Good News Reflection

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Today's Good News Reflection
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Today's Good News: The strongholds of evil cannot prevail against our Christ-inspired efforts.

Good News Reflection for:

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul
June 29, 2022

Today's Prayer:

Beloved Lord, may Your Spirit guide me in all my paths, and may the holy anointing give me the strength I need to go wherever You send me. Amen.

SaintsToday's Saint Quote & Prayer:

Today's Readings:

Acts 12:1-11
Ps 34:2-9
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18
Matthew 16:13-19
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

Leadership that succeeds for Christ

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

What is good leadership? We see examples of it in Saints Peter and Paul and, of course, in Jesus himself.

In today's Gospel story, Peter recognizes that Jesus is the Messiah, and then he is called to help others discover the same truth. All of us who are in any kind of leadership role have been given this same responsibility. It's our primary mission as followers of Christ. It's not just priests who are shepherds. Parents have been commissioned by Christ to shepherd their families. Teachers have been commissioned to shepherd their students. Employers have been commissioned to shepherd those who work under them.

Shepherding means this: Even when we cannot evangelize with words, we are to show, through our behaviors and attitudes and our compassion, what Jesus is like.

Paul suffered in his shepherd's ministry (see the first reading), like Jesus did and like we do if we're involved enough to really make a difference. The good news is that the strongholds of evil ("the gates of the netherworld") cannot prevail against our Christ-inspired efforts.

The "gates" are people's escape routes from evil. For followers of Christ, every leadership responsibility includes shepherding those who need to be rescued, guiding them toward Jesus who is The Gate. A Christian leader who does not go into Satan's territory to rescue lost souls nor protects his flock from wandering into danger is no follower of Christ, because this was Christ's entire mission.

Those who are enslaved to sinful lifestyles and the devil's deceptions do reject our efforts, but don't let that stop you. Consider instead what's imprisoning them: The root motivation for nearly everything they do comes from an unmet need to find the safe pasture of unconditional love. This means that, with a lot of unconditional love from us that stubbornly refuses to be chased away, they can be shepherded closer and closer toward the forgiveness and saving power of God. Meanwhile the Holy Spirit is working in their hearts. Even if we cannot see progress in them yet, change is coming.

We cannot drag them through the gate, but we can show them the way -- the way of love and mercy -- and pray that they will eventually recognize their escape opportunity. This is our calling!

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© 2022 by Terry A. Modica


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