Ps 68:10-11, 20-21 (with 33a)
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said,
“Father, the hour has come.
Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you,
just as you gave him authority over all people,
so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him.
Now this is eternal life,
that they should know you, the only true God,
and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
I glorified you on earth
by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.
Now glorify me, Father, with you,
with the glory that I had with you before the world began.
“I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world.
They belonged to you, and you gave them to me,
and they have kept your word.
Now they know that everything you gave me is from you,
because the words you gave to me I have given to them,
and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you,
and they have believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me,
because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours
and everything of yours is mine,
and I have been glorified in them.
And now I will no longer be in the world,
but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.”
Good News Reflection: Never shrinking back
“Never did I shrink from telling you what was for your own good…. I take the blame for no one’s conscience, for I have never shrunk from announcing to you God’s design in its entirety” — the words of St. Paul to his spiritual children in Ephesus as he neared the end of his life (from today’s first reading).
“I have made your name known to those you gave me out of the world…. I entrusted to them the message you entrusted to me.” — the words of Jesus to the Father as he neared the end of his life (from the Gospel reading).
Will you be able to say the same thing at the end of your life?
We live in a very “polite” society. We hide the truth for the sake of being “nice”. In many cultures, being “politically correct” means “if you don’t agree with the trends in our society, you’re bad.” But Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit so that we could be his witnesses to the ends of the earth, sometimes by words, always by the holy way that we live — boldly, visibly, confidently — even if it gets us into trouble. Jesus was not always polite, and he was certainly not politically correct.
Do we really want him to be our Lord and teacher? Do we really want to follow him and imitate him?
We preach by our lives. We stand up as different from the world, but we don’t force others to agree with us; we convert by our compassion. We teach the truth by using words whenever there’s an openness to learn. If a person is ready to be taught, we must be ready to explain our faith and not shrink back.
Usually, we don’t know when someone’s ready, so we must rely upon the Holy Spirit to inspire us. Never are we to sit back and hope that someone else will do the evangelizing, or else at the time of our death we will be held accountable, to some extent, for the poorly formed consciences of others and for the souls who never reach heaven.
How many times have we noticed coworkers struggling with a problem and we’ve not asked if we could pray for them? When have we heard a family member complain about a Church teaching and we’ve let our silence — or perhaps even a smile or nod — indicate that we agree, rather than dare to offer a different perspective (in a compassionate way, of course)?
Every day, we encounter opportunities to evangelize. Let’s grow in our ability to recognize the Holy Spirit’s inspirations and courage to do what can be done.
Perhaps there’s something that can help you with this at Catholic Digital Resources. See these evangelization aids: catholicdr.com/evangelization-aids/
Thank You, my Lord Jesus, because You showed me our Father’s merciful face. Teach me how to love and forgive as You love me and forgive me. Amen.
© 2018 by Terry A. Modica