October 30, 2014

Friday of the 30th Week of Ordinary Time

Today's Saint: Wolfgang
Pray to overcome evil:
wordbytes.org/saints/DailyPrayers/Wolfgang.htm

Today’s Readings: October 31, 2014
Philippians 1:1-11
Psalm 111:1-6
Luke 14:1-6
www.usccb.org/bible/readings/103114.cfm
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
ccc.usccb.org/cccradio/NABPodcasts/14_10_31.mp3

How great are your works for the Lord?

You are a gift from God to the world! You are a gift in every way that you do good and use your talents, your finances, what you learned from your past experiences, your training and skills, your compassion, your knowledge, your Spirit-supplied wisdom, your unique personality, your right choice of words, your helpfulness, your – anything that is you that reflects God's goodness.

Through the words of St. Paul in today’s first reading, Jesus is telling you personally: "I give thanks to my Father every time I think of you – which is constantly." He is telling you: "Our Father has begun a good work in you and he will carry it all the way to completion. Rely on him!" He is saying: "I am praying that your love will continually increase and change this world through what you know and perceive about the ways of God."

Jesus recognizes that you are a very important gift to the world. Because of your uniqueness, you are extremely valuable. No one else can do what you can do, the way you can do it. No one else has your particular set of talents and experiences and insights. In partnership with the Holy Spirit, you are awesome!

Satan is free to do evil whenever God's gifts for the world (God's children) say no to using their giftedness in cooperation with God's plans. What are the excuses we use? I'm too busy. I'm too inadequate. I'm too tired. I'm too scared of how I might suffer if I do that. I'm too focused on my own projects. I'm too in need of attention from others. I'm too unwilling to change.

It's the curse of "too-someness". Blessings are found in the "two-someness" of partnering with God. After Christ ascended from the earth, the Holy Spirit descended to the earth so that we could become the Body of Christ – we are his hands, his feet, his vocal chords, his smile, his presence in the world. Our responsorial Psalm today is true because God works his wondrous deeds through us: How great are the works of the Lord!

Look at how Jesus, in the Gospel reading today, dared to use his giftedness when society dictated that he shouldn't. We need to let go of our perceptions of when and how it's okay to be gift for the world. You are very valuable! You are already doing good with the gifts you have. Become aware of Jesus patting you on the back and being very pleased with you. Read again today's first scripture and put your name in there, to make it a personal letter from Jesus to you.

Now, is there anything holding you back from doing ALL that you can do in partnership with God? May your love abound more and more!

For help in discovering your "two-someness", see my e-book: "Knowing God's Will and Doing it Well" - http://catholicdr.com/ebooks/GodsWill.htm

© 2014 by Terry A. Modica of Good News Ministries (gnm.org)
For PERMISSION to copy this reflection, go to gnm.org/copyrights.htm
For professionally published reflections and other Good News materials for RCIA, church bulletins, etc., please visit Catholic Digital Resources at catholicdr.com

To sign up to receive the Good News Reflections by email, go to gogoodnews.net/DailyReflections

October 29, 2014

Thursday of the 30th Week of Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings: October 30, 2014
Ephesians 6:10-20
Psalm 144:1b-2,9-10
Luke 13:31-35
www.usccb.org/bible/readings/103014.cfm
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
ccc.usccb.org/cccradio/NABPodcasts/14_10_30.mp3

Wearing the armor of God

It is fitting that as we approach All Saints Day, we're given the armor of God in today’s first reading, because sainthood requires standing firm against the tactics of the devil. Likewise, it's a very appropriate scripture for Halloween, which is a "high holy day" for satanic and witchcraft covens, a day in which demonic forces are glorified in black masses and other occult rituals, in movies, and in parties and decorations that are used even by Christians.

Instead of cooperating with the Satan's intentions for Halloween, we should do everything possible to serve as signposts of Sainthood, pointing the world (starting with our families, our neighbors, our co-workers, and our fellow parishioners) to Christ and his examples of holiness.

Instead of allowing the forces of darkness to continue to harass us and oppress us and our loved ones and the world around us, we should be invading its territory with the light of Christ. We should use the armor of God, not as a magic scripture to quote, but as a lifestyle.

Here's how to put on this armor. Pray:

Father in Heaven, in the name of Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, I ask you to help me wear the full armor of the Christian life, as described in Ephesians 6:10-17.

My loins are girded in truth, because I have chosen to imitate Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. I want to grow in my understanding of truth by studying your Word and the Church's teachings. Holy Spirit, help me to continually improve my ability to recognize the truth and to live by the truth.

I am clothed with righteousness as my breastplate, because Jesus died for my sins. By following him, I receive his righteousness. Holy Spirit, help me to identify my sinfulness so that I may repent and be restored to the full righteousness that Jesus has provided. I pray for your help in following Christ's example of holy living so that my righteousness is evident to everyone.

I am wearing the sandals of evangelization; help me to be ready throughout this day to spread the Gospel of Peace by the way I live my life. Let others see you, oh Lord, in me, as I respond to their needs and give them your unconditional love.

I am holding faith as my shield to protect me from temptation. Holy Spirit, you have given me faith as a gift. Help me to rely on this faith as I strive to remain on the path of righteousness and evangelization. May your faith keep me strong in times of trial.

My mind is protected by the helmet of salvation, because during my baptism I received the mind of Christ, who died for me and saved me from being destroyed by my sinfulness. Let your thoughts become ever clearer to me.

I am carrying and wielding the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Holy Spirit, help me to learn the Word so thoroughly that I can use it to defeat the devil and grow in holiness and help the Church advance the work and mission of your kingdom.

Thank you, Lord, for all this armor that you have given me. Amen!

This prayer is online at http://wordbytes.org/prayers/armor.htm
For WordBytes on Halloween and other topics of spiritual warfare, see http://wordbytes.org/occult/

© 2014 by Terry A. Modica of Good News Ministries (gnm.org)
For PERMISSION to copy this reflection, go to gnm.org/copyrights.htm
For professionally published reflections and other Good News materials for RCIA, church bulletins, etc., please visit Catholic Digital Resources at catholicdr.com

To sign up to receive the Good News Reflections by email, go to gogoodnews.net/DailyReflections