Today’s Inspirational Snippet: The more we love Christ and follow his ways, the easier it is to identify what’s really valuable.

Good News Reflection
July 27, 2014
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

This Sunday’s Readings:
1 Kings 3:5, 7-12
Psalm 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-130
Romans 8:28-30
Matthew 13:44-52
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

In this Sunday’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells us that the kingdom of God is like a buried treasure, a pearl purchased at all cost, and a net from which the bad catch of fish will be tossed away and the good catch will be valued.

In other words, our Christian lives are a huge cache of valuables. If our treasure chest has any worthless trash, the garbage needs to be tossed away to make room for more valuables. Some of our treasures have only temporary, earthly value, and ultimately they be will worthless unless they’re used for the kingdom of God.

The reading from Romans tells us that all things work together for the good of those who love God. As we purge our lives of false pearls and dead fish, we become more like our Lord. We become more useful to the kingdom of God. Even the bad things that happen to us, under the creative hand of our all-powerful, mercifully loving God, get put to good use as polishing cloths that brighten our pearls and bring out from us a better shine.

In the first reading, Solomon could have asked God for great wealth and he would have received it, but he asked for an understanding heart so that he’d have wisdom to rule the nation well. Even though he ruled imperfectly, his reputation as the wisest king on earth spread throughout the known world and he accumulated great wealth.

This is meant to teach us that when we seek first the treasures of God’s kingdom, then we can safely use the treasures of the earth, because God’s wisdom guides us in using them for the benefit of his kingdom. The more we love Christ and follow his ways, the easier it is to identify what’s really valuable, separate out the junk that does not belong to God, and use everything else for his purposes.

Questions for Personal Reflection:
What treasures are buried within you? What pearls of wisdom have you gained, and what did it cost you to learn these? Write a list of your many good qualities. How do they prove that the Lord’s presence is within you?

Questions for Community Faith Sharing:
Choose one treasure, gift, or pearl that God has given to you – something that reveals the kingdom of God. How did you discover it or gain it? What affect does it have on others?1
© 2014 by Terry A. Modica; All Rights Reserved.
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(updated weekly)
In this issue of Insider’s View:
• Reaching the goal is not always the objective
• Progress report: See our new home page!
• Help Wanted: Proof-reader

Reaching the goal is not always the objective (from Mountaintop Experiences)

Sandstone Bridge

Terry ModicaThe journey to the mountaintop is usually longer than we plan or imagine. A short trip sometimes takes so long we never reach the goal. The mountaintop experience we hope for remains elusive.

If we are walking with Jesus, our eyes shouldn’t be fixated on the goal anyway. Awareness of the presence of Jesus is the real objective, the daily objective, the moment by moment objective.

If our joy depends on what’s ahead instead of Who is beside us, we will never reach the mountaintop, possibly not even the ultimate heavenly mountaintop. And we will miss the experiences of heaven that Jesus gives us on the footpath of today’s portion of the journey.

Joy is found in the adventure of traveling wherever Jesus leads us. The ups and downs we traverse together become more fruitful and beneficial than a straight and smooth path.

If the goal is God-inspired, we will be rewarded for persevering toward it even when we don’t obtain it. God doesn’t ask for the completion of every plan; He asks to be the Lord of every plan. And in that are many different and surprising rewards.

For more like this, download my digital flip-book of photos and reflections. Eleven illustrated reflections (26 pages). Get your free downloadable copy of the digital flip-book here.
Mountaintop Experiences ebook

Progress report: See our new home page!

It’s here! Take a look at the new, flexible design of our home page, Look at it on different size screens — your computer, your cell phone, your tablet — and watch what happens! With your computer, you can shrink your browser (narrow the width of your view) to simulate a cell phone screen. Our home page is now easy to use on all sizes — and next we’ll start working on all the rest of the thousands of webpages that need to be converted to the new format. With the new design figured out and the new home page done, the rest of the site should go faster.

The future has opened! As work continues, our online ministry will be useful to more and more people, making the world a better place by changing hearts for Christ. I’d like to publicly thank the donors who have helped make this progress possible and continue to do so.

Help Wanted: Proof-reader

I need help from someone who’s an expert in proof-reading. At Good News Ministries, we rely on volunteers, but at Catholic Digital Resources I can pay $10/hour for this service. The CDR work only takes a couple of hours, once a month. There is additional work available in proof-reading Spanish as well as in customer service. If you’re interested, reply to this email with a list of your skills and experience.

I’m praying for you:

Thank you for reading this newsletter. Every morning, I lift up in prayer all those who help Good News Ministries in any way (donors, volunteers, prayer supporters, etc.) and all the prayer requests posted on our site.

Your servant in Christ,
Terry Modica
Executive Director
Good News Ministries

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