Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time (July 16, 2018): Discovering a life full of love.

Chúa Nhật, 15-07-2018 | 15:00:26

Today’s Readings:

Isaiah 1:10-17
Ps 50:8-9,16bc-17,21,23
Matthew 10:34-11:1

USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.

Jesus said to his Apostles:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth.
I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
For I have come to set
a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and one’s enemies will be those of his household.

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever does not take up his cross
and follow after me is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds his life will lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

“Whoever receives you receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet
will receive a prophet’s reward,
and whoever receives a righteous man
because he is righteous 
will receive a righteous man’s reward.
And whoever gives only a cup of cold water
to one of these little ones to drink
because he is a disciple–
amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”

When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples,
he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.

Good News Reflection: Discovering a life full of love

We can summarize the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel reading this way: “When you give up everything, including your desire to get your needs met through other people instead of relying on Me, that’s when you discover the good life, the truly good life. That’s when you find real love.”

He’s saying to you: “What’s killing your heart? Who’s hurting you? Instead of clinging to your own efforts to find renewal and restoration, turn to Me. Instead of trying to bring your own healing or solutions into that situation, turn to Me.”

He says, “What are you seeking from someone else? Find it first in Me, and then you will enjoy what others are able to give you, even if it’s not enough. Seek everything you need from Me first, not others, and then you will feel satisfied regardless of whether or not they give you what’s been missing.”

And: “Why are you trying to avoid suffering? Even I suffered. Follow Me. Embrace your cross. Walk with Me, and I will help you carry it, and I will redeem it. Together we will reach a new life that’s full of the love you need.”

No one but Jesus can give us everything we need. In times of unhappiness, if we can’t see Jesus, it’s because we’re looking at the wrong person. We’re more interested in getting another person’s love than we are in receiving Jesus’ love. We’re more interested in complaining about those who don’t satisfy us than we are in rejoicing about what Jesus is doing for us. We’re more interested in being affirmed by others than we are in God’s affirmation.

Do you have low self-esteem? Then you have not yet discovered how good you truly are, because you’re seeking the approval of others. Their disapproval (from the past and/or present) is so deafening that you cannot hear Jesus telling you how very pleased he is with you.

Go to him first for everything. He is standing before you, his arms open to receive you. He’s eager to embrace you. He yearns to tell you that you’re a precious masterpiece created lovingly by the Good Father! Anyone who has convinced you that you are tainted junk was not speaking the truth. Only Jesus knows just how good you really are. Only Jesus can show you the gem that you are — and you truly are a precious gem!

The more we want something from others and fail to get it sufficiently, the more we hurt. If we ask Jesus to restore peace in our lives by making others love us better, he says, “Do not suppose that my mission is to spread that kind of peace. I want to divide you from whoever is blocking your view of My love and deafening your ears to My words. That is when you will discover true peace.”

Today’s Prayer:

Thank You, Father, because everything I need can be found in You. I’m rich in You, I lack nothing. Help me to accept Your embrace every day so Your mercy will heal me, save me and deliver me. Amen.

© 2018 by Terry A. Modica

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