News travels fast; let’s make it good news

| Deacon Billy Dodge | October 23, 2014 | 0 Comments

Hands Unite With Eachother As Friends GreetingPeople have a natural affinity for communication and building relationships. Too often, due to original sin, our ability to communicate is used for gossip, slander and detraction. On the other hand, when used for God’s purposes, our communication can transform the world for the better.

In the second reading, Paul writes to the Christians in Thessalonica, “For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth not only in Macedonia and in Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has gone forth” (1 Thessalonians 1:8). The Thessalonians have not left the region of Thessalonica, yet their good deeds and faith in God are being discussed everywhere (reference 1 Thessaolonians 1:9). Yes, even in ancient times, communication traveled far quickly.

Today, news travels across the globe instantly. Who hasn’t been affected by news of our Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East suffering for their faith at the hands of militant extremists? Are we not inspired by news of Christians ministering to those suffering from the Ebola virus in Africa? These events are happening on the other side of the globe, yet the trials of fellow Christians are impacting our local communities. These Christians are simply trying to live their faith to the best of their abilities, yet their heroism and love have created ripples “across the pond” that have come to our part of the world.

Some people wonder how they can make the world a better place. Too often we can be overwhelmed by the enormity of global problems. Instead of focusing on trying to solve large-scale issues, take a cue from those Christians heroically living their faith today and from the Thessalonian Christians of Paul’s time. In their immediate surroundings, they live the great commandment in this week’s Gospel — love God with your whole heart, mind, and soul, and your neighbor as yourself. News of living this way cannot be contained.

This is why God in the first reading from Exodus instructs the Israelites to care for the most vulnerable of society — the foreigner, widow, orphan and poor. The special relationship God has with the Israelites is to be expressed in how they treat their neighbor. As God speaks through the prophet Isaiah, “I will make you [Israel] a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth” (49:6). Ultimately, all of God’s actions and decrees come down to his wanting to save all creation and bring us into his glory.

It is astounding that God wants his creation to cooperate in his plan of salvation for the world. And how do we cooperate in this grand plan? Love God and your neighbor. And just like the Thessalonians, may news of our love of God and neighbor be known everywhere.

Deacon Dodge is studying for the priesthood at the St. Paul Seminary for the Diocese of LaCrosse, Wis. His teaching parishes are Sacred Heart in Spring Valley and Elmwood, Wis., and St. Luke in Boyceville, Wis. His home parish is Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Big River, Wis.


Sunday, Oct. 26

Thirtieth Sunday in ordinary time

Readings

  • Exodus 22:20-26
  • 1 Thessalonians 1:5c-10
  • Matthew 22:34-40

Reflection

How do we overcome the bad news in the world to spread the good news, carrying out God’s plan for salvation?

 

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Category: Sunday Scriptures