Ps 115:1-4, 15-16
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”
Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him,
“Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us
and not to the world?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;
yet the word you hear is not mine
but that of the Father who sent me.
“I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit
whom the Father will send in my name—
he will teach you everything
and remind you of all that I told you.”
Good News Reflection:
True humility is acknowledging the good that you do while knowing and proclaiming that the true source of your goodness is the Holy Spirit.
Your good deeds, your giftedness, and the love that you share while doing good is the fruit of being made in the image of God. But we are all weak and vulnerable to sin; left to our own efforts, we look and act very unlike God. So, Jesus gave us his Holy Spirit to empower us to look like and act like our divine Father.
Even atheists cannot do good on their own. They too were created in the image of God. It is God’s goodness within them that causes them to reach out to others in love.
In our first reading today, Jesus heals a lame man through Paul and Barnabas as they preach to the Greeks. The crowds cannot see Jesus; they see only Paul and Barnabas, so they interpret the miracle according to their pagan background — they conclude that Paul and Barnabas are gods.
Paul and Barnabas do deserve some credit. They had to make the decision to do what God inspired them to do. They chose to trust God to work through them. Ministry is a partnership between us and the Holy Spirit.
For example, first Paul noticed the lame man. Immediately, he felt concern for him, like Christ. As he looked at the man, he discerned through the Holy Spirit that he was open to the healing love of God. So, loud enough for all to hear, Paul healed the man as a testimony of the power of Christian compassion.
When the people credited Paul for the miracle, how did he respond? Well, how would you or I respond? We’d probably say, “No, I didn’t do anything special” — which is our usual way of dealing with compliments. But not Paul. He knew that true humility means accepting the compliment while giving the credit to God. It’s a partnership.
Paul explained that he and Barnabas were bringing good news about the real God. He did not “humbly” cut down his ability to preach, nor did he deny that he was capable of working miracles. He simply took the focus off of himself and put it onto God.
Every good deed that we do is evidence that God is working in us and through us. Humility means realizing that we are inadequate and likely to sin BUT thanks be to God he graces us with his holiness and therefore we can be extraordinary Christians. As it says in today’s responsorial, Psalm 115: “Not to us, O Lord, but to Your name give the glory.”
Never degrade yourself when complimented. It devalues God’s work in you. Acknowledge your partnership with the Holy Spirit by using your life to help others put their focus on Christ.
What a great gift, Lord, You give us every day with Your Holy Spirit! May Your Light and Truth illuminate all our lives! Amen.
© 2017 by Terry A. Modica