Tuesday of the 24th Week of Ordinary Time photo-quote
Today's Inspirational Snippet: God built into our hearts a need for community.

Good News Reflection

Tuesday of the 24th Week of Ordinary Time
September 16, 2014

Today's Memorial: Saints Cornelius and Cyprian
Pray for mutual support in relationships:

Today’s Readings:

1 Corinthians 12:12-14,27-31a
Psalm 10:1b-5
Luke 7:11-17
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

The Spirit of collaboration

St. Paul says in today’s first reading that the Holy Spirit takes all of us – the many parts of the Christian body (Catholics and Protestants, liberals and conservatives) and makes us one. Isn't it interesting that this comes the day after the Church gives us a scripture about division (cf. 1 Cor. 11:17-26)!

Unity comes from the Holy Spirit. We cannot assemble as a community by our own power; left to our own willpower, we'd more likely snooze late on Sundays and then catch up on last week's chores rather than go to church. And when we do choose to attend Mass, left to our own willpower, we're likely to enter as an individual and worship as an individual and participate in communion as an individual, and then leave as an individual, even though "communion" means being community.

God designed us to live in community. That's why the bishops of Vatican Council II wrote, in the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity (para. 18): "...it has been God's pleasure to assemble those who believe in Christ and make of them the People of God." God built into our hearts a need for community. When our faith deepens to the point of realizing this, we're dissatisfied when our faith-filled friends are too few. We don't feel loved enough when we hide behind walls of seclusion. Although we must have time alone with God to experience his supreme love, we also need to participate in community life to experience God's sufficient love.

When we feel lonely, or when our prayers are not being answered, or when God isn't giving us everything we need, it's usually because we have not availed ourselves of the people in the faith community through whom God works.

Likewise, when our ministries are not making as big of a difference as they should, or when we feel burnt out from doing the Lord's work, or when some of the needs of the parish or diocese are going unmet, it's usually because we're not collaborating with enough other servants of God. The bishops addressed that, too, in the same 18th paragraph of the decree for the laity: Since we're "social by nature" and God has assembled us into one body, we are most effective in the mission of Christ when we’re collaborative: "...it offers a sign of the communion and unity of the Church in Christ."

God never calls us to serve him as loners: "For that reason Christians will exercise their apostolate in a spirit of concord. They will be apostles ... in the free associations they will have decided to form among themselves.... The apostolate calls for concerted action."

All of us in the Catholic community – priests, deacons, religious, and laity – must offer our unique, individual giftedness to each other in a spirit of collaboration for the sake of the work of the Church. And all of us in the wider Christian community – Catholics and Protestants of all denominations – must form collaborations so that we can preach to the world that Christ's love conquers all divisions.

This is only possible, however, through the Spirit of collaboration, who makes us one.

Let us pray together that this Spirit of collaboration is more clearly preached by example in all the divisions that the world has been witnessing in our Church.
© 2014 by Terry A. Modica; All Rights Reserved.
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(updated weekly)

News - Good News Ministries In this issue of Insider's View:
Changing the world through our connectedness
• Watch for the birds!
• How this helps to change hearts for Christ

Fly with us!
Recent changes in connection technologies are drastically changing the world, with great potential for making the world a better place. For example, cell phones connect us not only to our family and friends but also to the internet (mobile web browsing) and to people from all over the world. We have access to online videos that teach us how to do whatever we're trying to figure out. We can influence large corporations through their Facebook pages. Victims of war even use GPS signals in their cell phones to triangulate where snipers are.

I recently watched a fascinating video of futurist Don Tapscott explaining how connection technology is redesigning the world into one that is far more open and transparent. Filmed in 2012 for a T.E.D. conference, in his inspiring talk he explains how this openness has started to make the world a better place. And I saw in this video something that describes how Good News Ministries can make the world a better place as we continue in the mission of changing hearts for Christ. Please watch it (17 well-spent minutes).

Watch for the birds
near the very end: It's so true and so amazing and so very important to the mission of Christ -- our mission!

TED video
What do you see in that flock of birds?

Don Tapscott explains it. The image of the birds says it better than any words can describe. That image is full of grace and beauty and fills me with awe over how well it reveals the only way possible for us to continue in the Good News Ministries mission.

Only when we fly together, collaboratively, can we make a real difference in the world. YOU are as important to this mission as I am. Yes, you! And every person who reads my Good News Reflections, and every one who subscribes to my new Faith Boosters, and every Catholic who learns from our website, and every seeker who finds Christ in what we produce.

Let me explain this with a very practical situation.

With statistics indicating that mobile web browsing will overtake desktop browsing by the end of this year, 2014, it is clear that Good News Ministries must have a mobile friendly website. This is crucial to the success of our mission.

Good News Ministries on the web
Have you ever tried to look at something that's too small to read? Very frustrating, right? Currently, that's the problem with GNM's website, which is the main gathering site and portal for doing our ministry (our "church building"). On cell phones, the text is tiny and the site is mostly impossible to navigate. After multiple attempts at pinching and resizing, even the most patient website visitor quits in frustration and goes elsewhere to find what they are looking for. Where do they go? What do they find? Is it what Jesus wants them to find?

Unfortunately, most parish websites are just as outdated. At Good News Ministries, we have always made up for their lack -- until recently. Begun in 1996, our website has grown huge and brings the Good News of Christ's healing love to millions. We have a "randomly selected" God's Word for You Today, we have Saints to be inspired by and Saints for Confirmation names, we have Ministry Assessment Tests to help people discern their calling, we have virtual retreats and a downloadable retreat by podcast, we have articles on Catholic Doctrine and helps to find healing, we have an online Prayer Room and a Prayer Chapel dedicated to the unborn who died before birth -- and much, more more!

I launched our website before 99% of priests knew the value of having any kind of web presence; this required learning how to code webpages manually, tag by tag, line by line. Later, as the web evolved, I explored and pioneered innovative ways to evangelize online. I built one of the first ever Virtual Tours (see my Virtual Pilgrimage to the Holy Land), and it still evangelizes people today, although fewer now because it is terribly in need of a modernizing overhaul.

Flying alone
But I can no longer fly alone in this work.

Earlier this year, I contracted Jeremy to redesign GNM's thousands of webpages. Coding for "responsive" design (translation: pages respond to any size screen, making them pinchable and easy to read even on cell phones) is way beyond my knowledge and time availability.

Jeremy and I have been working on this collaboratively. We've been making good progress, but it cannot be used by the public until the whole site is done and all the pages can work interconnectedly in the new design. Our home page (GNM.org) and Saint Quote for Today are the only live examples of the new design. I hope that soon the daily Good News Reflections will also become available.

But Jeremy and I can no longer fly alone in this collaborative work.

To finish this work, we need many more collaborators. We need to fly together like the birds in the video. Can't code webpages? Provide $5. Our bank account is getting awfully skinny. Contracting a qualified web designer is expensive. Jeremy generously gives us a half-price discount. He's doing his part to make the Good News possible on all size mobile devices. I pray that you will, too.

If everyone reading this provides $5 -- a very easy amount to sacrifice -- Jeremy can finish the project. Or a thousand readers providing $10. Please visit gnm.org/support while you're still connected to the internet and be counted as one of our collaborators flying in God's beautiful grace!

However, if you cannot make a financial contribution, there are other ways to be collaborative. For example, share our content far and wide! Minister to the people you have access to, by bringing them to our online magazine WordBytes.org, and some of them will become donors who want to collaborate with us in changing the world for Christ.

Only when we work together, collaboratively, can we succeed. Otherwise, next week I will have to tell Jeremy to stop. We won't have enough funds to survive until our annual December fund-raiser.

And please pray for us!

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.

Thank you for reading this newsletter.

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

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