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The good news for the day June 23

Thursday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time (374) 

Jesus says to his students: “Not just anybody appealing to me as, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will get into the realm of what is right—only someone who actually does the will of my Father in that realm. Many individuals will say to me when the crunch come—‘on that day’: ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we preach prophetic truth in your name? Didn’t we rid people of demonic control in your name? Didn’t we do impressive actions as part of your church [“in My Name”]?’ Then I will tell them seriously, ‘I have never really related to you. Go away; you are workers of lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7)

You and I—you who read this, and I who write this—think of ourselves as “good,” folks who listen to and tell the truth, who help people overcome problems, who act in community ways for the betterment of our word.

All of that may be done—gradually and without knowing it—to impress people, to become respected and even honored in the circle where we live. We may write and touch lives for the better, heal grieving hearts, and bring hope to souls struggling with economic, spiritual, and physical issues—but do it for the satisfaction of our egos, do it to make an impression.

You and I need to keep our hearts, our minds, our souls focused on “others”—on people not like us, on “neighbors” and their needs, not on friends who reward us with honor and respect. We become “lawless” (the technical word is “anomie”—being outside the law—in this case the “law of Christ”—to bear one another’s burdens).

Care—real care—is the point of the Good News. Don’t lower yourself to become an ideologue—changing your heart’s faith into external religion, preaching at people merely echoes of other people, working for external achievements—and hoping to be noticed. No, cherish people (friends and strangers alike) for their wrongs, heal people for their sake, not yours, do not pursue gratitude, evade the flattery and smugness—accepting with joy whatever the Father sends you in the truth of His blessings.

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