USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.
If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own;
but because you do not belong to the world,
and I have chosen you out of the world,
the world hates you.
Remember the word I spoke to you,
‘No slave is greater than his master.’
If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
And they will do all these things to you on account of my name,
because they do not know the one who sent me.”
“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first…. Because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.” (From Saturday’s Gospel reading)
Reflection for Saturday:
How do you feel when you’re criticized? Or when a family member gets angry because you express your faith-based perspective about a moral issue? In today’s world, we Christians are hated more than I’ve ever experienced before. We’re judged as intolerant by those who are not tolerant of us.
This should be easy to recover from emotionally, but most of us have been conditioned to feel condemned and accept it. This is why most of us have self-esteem problems to some extent. We over-compensate by thinking better of ourselves than we should, while deep down we are believing that we are bad.
Our religion tends to reinforce this. How often have you heard that you’re a sinner? It’s the reason why we need the Sacrament of Confession, right? Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa.
Yes, it’s true that we all sin, but if you’ve been baptized and if you have a personal relationship with Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you’ve been reborn from sinner to saint. Your true identity is not “sinner”. Your true identity is a child of God, a saint.
Learn more about this from my newest WordByte article, “Who Condemns You? Not God!“
Delia’s story of healing from listening to the Holy Spirit
Last November, GNM member Delia Alvarez said to me, “It’s so hard to be silent and listen to God speaking to me. Sometimes, I hear something but it wasn’t until later that I realized: ‘That was God talking to me’. I want to learn how to discern God’s voice talking to me.”
A few months later (February), she wrote:
“To say I am in awe of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration in my life is an understatement! It is so much more.”
This growth was part of a process that included attendance in my course Living in the power of the Holy Spirit when it was live and interactive (it’s now available as an archived video course).
“I’ve always believed I was baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I could hear God’s voice in my thoughts yet always pictured him so far away. I tend to listen more with my heart and not only with my mind.
The new, healed and continued healing relationship with family members is a testimony of what God can do when we listen and pray for change. I heard or sensed the promptings of the Holy Spirit. It was I who needed to change first. The Holy Spirit’s guidance and inspiration to stop, look and listen to the whole person and not just what I think I see or want to see, is a new beginning for me. ¡Gracias a Dios!
I am, as my neighbor is, a child of God. The continued healing and loving renewal of family encompass generations of all God’s people that are beyond my human visualization, because I believe more and more they are and have always been in God’s vision (his heart’s desire).
This morning, as I was getting ready for work, the words written in this heart-graphic, came peacefully and lovingly to my mind and settled in my own heart. I ask our Beloved Savior for these same words to sanctify and strengthen me, that my thoughts, my words, my deeds, my actions and the desires of my heart will be a holy reflection of who I am, a beloved child of God. For Holy is his name. And I want to acknowledge with a sincere, peaceful and respectful heart the same affirmation to my neighbor, beginning at home.”
God has a special calling for you. Do you know what it is?
How do you figure out God’s special purpose for you? Seminarian Dan Devine gives the answer (based on Ephesians 1:9). This video was filmed during my visit to Canada last month.
The Good News Novena to the Holy Spirit
“This is the mystery of Pentecost: The Holy Spirit illuminates the human spirit and, by revealing Christ Crucified and Risen, indicates the way to become more like him, that is, to be ‘the image and instrument of the love which flows from Christ.'” (Pope Benedict XVI, June 4, 2006)
Pentecost is very soon. May the Holy Spirit help us become more like Jesus, making a difference in the world as an instrument of Jesus! The Novena to the Holy Spirit on our website has our unique Good News flavor. Use it to deepen and renew your personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. Share it with others to evangelize them and strengthen their faith. It includes a music video, and you can even experience this novena in a Virtual Reality Prayer Walk!
God bless you in a continued happy Easter season!
© 2017 by Terry A. Modica