Saturday, April 22, 2017


I have began “road testing” the manuscript of my book of daily reflections for the Easter season. (I'm waiting to hear from Liturgical Press about getting it published by them.) Each morning during the past week, I’ve sat in church and used it for my meditation. So far, so good. The one for this morning, (Saturday of the Octave of Easter), for example, proved to be a real gift.

The chapter is based on a verse from today’s gospel passage: “Then Jesus told them: ‘Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation.’” (Mark 16:15)
The main point of the short story is this: As a Christian, I am called not just to speak the Good News but to actually be the Good News for others by my words and my actions -- often in simple and unforeseen ways. To focus my thoughts, I used the reflection questions at the end of the chapter. The first one is: “Think of some people who serve as Good News for you. Do they do so by their words? Their deeds? Their attitude toward life? By simply being who they are?”

I spent several delightful minutes thinking about all the people who are God’s Good News for me. Fortunately, no one was near enough to notice the big smiles that followed one after another as I thought of various people, young and old, men and women, who have announced, and keep announcing, the Good News to me.

(photo by Marylou and Jerome Bongiorno)
A few minutes later, I was in my choir stall singing Lauds with my brother monks, still thinking about “people who serve as Good News” for me. As I looked at each monk, one after the other, I realized that each one of them was, in his own unique way, Good News for me. This beautiful and gratifying exercise made me appreciate how much these men have shaped my relationship with God over the years.

Later, as I sat at breakfast, I looked at the rest of the reflection questions: 2. Are there people for whom you act as Good News? 3. Think of the various ways in which you are Good News for each of them. 4. How might you become a more effective bearer of the Good News?

These last three questions seem problematic, and I think I need to get better ones. In Question 2, For example, how do I know whether or not there are people for whom I am Good News? And Questions 3 and 4 assume that I know what makes me Good News for others.

When I think of all the people who are Good News for me, I realize that not a single one of them knows they are that for me, nor do they do anything on purpose so as to be Good News for me. Maybe, then, the best way for me to be a bearer of the Good News to others is to do my best to be Christlike in everything, and let Him use me as He sees fit.

So, this morning's "road test" has shown me a few design flaws that need to be corrected. If you have any suggestions on the topic, please share them with the rest of us -- I would be grateful for the help.
He is risen! Alleluia!

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