Today’s Inspirational Snippet: To discover the beauty of any truth that we dislike, we need to humbly open ourselves to a new perspective.

Good News Reflection
Wednesday of the 17th Week of Ordinary Time
July 30, 2014

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21
Psalm 59:2-4,10-11,17-18
Matthew 13:44-46
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

Finding hidden treasures

Like the author of today’s first reading, we believe that God’s Word brings us joy, but when we’re in the middle of problems that were caused by our sins and we don’t know how to undo the damage, or when shame cripples us, we feel unhappily crushed by the truth. We feel stricken down by the weight of the burden.

"Why is my pain continuous, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?"

God answers: "If you repent, I will restore you …. If you bring forth only what is precious and not the vile…."

We lose our joy when God’s instructions are contrary to our self-centered, worldly (and therefore vile) ideas of what is right and good for us. We turn away from him and then wonder why we feel alone. When someone hurts us, we justify our anger and, in our lack of forgiveness, we complain that God is not helping us.

The pearl in today’s Gospel reading can be any truth. Although it’s always precious, if we don’t see the pearl’s value (because we prefer a sinful alternative), we toss it aside as worthless. To discover the beauty of any truth that we dislike, we need to humbly open ourselves to a new perspective.

I learned this from my son when he was four. David thought he’d found the jackpot of all treasure caches when we came upon a clearance table in the local toy store. I told David he could buy anything priced under $2. With as much careful decision-making as a tot could muster, he began rummaging and examining. He chose a scratched-up, much-abused, hand-size pinball game. It wasn’t worth the asking price of 25 cents.

I suggested other toys that were in better condition. He looked at me with exasperation. Why couldn’t I see that this pinball game was the only real treasure on the table?

It turned out to be a great purchase. David took it everywhere – to bed, to the dinner table, to the bathroom. He also carried a baby rattle he’d recently found in some forgotten cranny of the house. That rattle had bored him in earlier years. Now when it was outdated and useless, it became one of his treasures.

To find the treasures that will bring us great joy, we have to ignore the preferences of our worldly flesh-nature and dare to trust God in his Word. We have to look for precious pearls in the redemption that Jesus brings to our sins. Great wisdom can be gained by asking: "Why am I bothered by this sin? What does it say about my desire for growth?" What a beautiful hidden treasure!

For more humorous stories like this from my early parenting days, see my Cross Connections:
© 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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