Wednesday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time photo-quote

Today's Inspirational Snippet: Only with Jesus can we be wanting for nothing, fully satisfied.

Good News Reflection
Wednesday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time
August 20, 2014

Today's Memorial: Saint Bernard
Pray for holy living:
wordbytes.org/saints/DailyPrayers/Bernard.htm

Today's Readings
Ezekiel 34:1-11
Psalm 23:1-6
Matthew 20:1-16
www.usccb.org/bible/readings/082014.cfm
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
ccc.usccb.org/cccradio/NABPodcasts/14_08_20.mp3

Following a good shepherd

Have you ever been hurt by one of God's shepherds? Indirectly and directly, we've all suffered from priests who've abused their vocations, but a shepherd is anyone who's had the responsibility of guiding us and protecting us.

What is a good shepherd?
He (or she) is caring.
He protects his flock.
He guides his sheep to safer pastures.
He goes after the lost and finds them.
He carries the weak ones over the rough spots.
He fights off the wolves and defeats them with the power of God.
Always alert to do his job well, he is closely connected to the Lord who empowers him.

What an awesome calling!

Today’s first reading makes it clear how upsetting it is to the Lord when shepherds fail to do what they're called to do. Just because they've been given authority over us does not automatically give them a special place in God's kingdom. The sheep are held higher in God's esteem than shepherds who are not like Christ the Good Shepherd. As Jesus says in today’s Gospel reading, "Thus the last shall be first and the first shall be last."

Pope Francis said (April 14, 2014) that those who are not willing to be shaped by the Holy Spirit, “meditating every day on the Gospel… experiencing the mercy of God in the Sacrament of Reconciliation… eating the Eucharist with faith and with love… being men of prayer…. it would be better for you to have the courage to seek another path.” If only they would heed his warning!

However, when they don’t and we get hurt by shepherds who fail to be good shepherds, we do not need to run from them and from the Church. Indeed, we are called to stay and be Christ’s instrument of healing and restoration. The first step of healing is to remember how God feels about it: "I myself will look after [my sheep] and tend to their needs." Jesus is the perfectly Good Shepherd. He picks us up and gently embraces us, kisses our wounds, and carries us where we need to go, while we safely rest and recover.

To truly rest in the Divine Shepherd's arms, we need to forgive the human shepherds who pastured us poorly. We need to remember that they, too, have been pastured poorly by someone in their background, and often their selfishness comes from an all-consuming need to pasture themselves – a need that only Jesus can successfully fill if they let him.

All human shepherds (even the best of them) are imperfect and will fail us from time to time. If we seek perfect love and guidance from them, insisting that they give us all that we need, we take our eyes off of Jesus and what he can do for us. Only with Jesus can we, like it says in today’s responsorial psalm, be wanting for nothing, fully satisfied. Only with Jesus can we find lush pastures, restful waters, and refreshment for our soul. Only with Jesus can we find the right path through dark valleys. Only with Jesus can our lives overflow with goodness.

Keep your eyes on Jesus!

To help with this, Good News Ministries offers a parish healing ministry, Parish Restoration Services. See parishhope.com.
© 2014 by Terry A. Modica; All Rights Reserved.
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INSIDER'S VIEW
(updated weekly)


News - Good News Ministries In this issue of Insider's View:
• Making a difference through the internet
• We love our volunteers!
• Are any of these ideas a good match for you?

Making a difference building faith through the internet

Here's our newest tool for sharing the Good News: DOWNLOAD OUR FREE APP!
Download our free app!

What does God want me to learn from my recent missionary trip to Panama -- and the adventure of going door to door to evangelize the poorest of the poor? This question has been on my mind since the plane ride home.

How can it improve what we do in Good News Ministries?

I'd love to invite you and all my readers to join me on similar adventures of missionary activities. If the Lord says, "Put together a Good News missionary team and go to ____", I'll reply, "Yes Lord, send me and help me find others who will say yes with me." But really, we're already doing this! Our Good News Ministries mission field is primarily the internet. The team of staff, volunteers, donors and prayer supporters are, in effect, the "Good News Missionary Team of Internet Evangelists".

You're already on the internet; you can easily be part of the missionary team. Here's our mission statement:
We are Catholics seeking and reaching out to those who are either lacking the Good News of Jesus Christ or who are believers but need more faith formation and inspirational encouragement to grow in holiness. Our calling is to accomplish this by using the tools of contemporary internet technologies, sharing with others the resources available from Good News Ministries of GNM.org and other appropriate sources that are based on the teachings of the Church Magisterium.

In Panama, I spent less than an hour in a few homes of only three villages. One response I repeatedly heard was that they wanted more. It would have been much more valuable and effective to give them an on-going ministry of faith formation. No one converts to Christ nor grows in faith from one, short conversation. And that is precisely why the Good News Missionary Team of Internet Evangelists is accomplishing significant changes in the hearts of uncountable people. We make the Good News available to everyone on an ongoing basis, providing faith formation that builds over time.

The key to our success is not that God has gifted me with the ability to write inspirational reflections on the readings from Mass. It's team work! Together we make a bigger difference than anything we could do without each other.

Think of someone you've been wishing would convert to Christ or return to church. You've not been able to make a difference with that loved one. But maybe I can! And I have a son who refuses to listen to his father and I speak of the Faith, but there's someone out there who can make a difference with him. It's team work that succeeds where individuals fail.

We make a much bigger difference together than we could ever accomplish alone.

Join the Good News team!

Are any of these ideas -- ways to join the Good News Team -- a good match for you?

  • Working with graphics and/or photos
  • Organization, filing, and labeling
  • Writing prayers (especially on Facebook)
  • Posting on social networks (especially Facebook or Pinterest)
  • Art (painting, drawing, etc.)
  • Website work
  • Making rosaries to give away
  • Fundraising and/or grant writing
  • Scriptwriting for short videos
  • Video editing
  • Proof-reading and editing English or Spanish
  • Collecting, organizing, and interpreting statistics
  • Tagging photos with descriptive search words
  • Designing and formatting brochures or articles in MS Word
Download our flyer Join_the_Good_News_Team.pdf or go to gnm.org/about/helpwanted.htm.

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.

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

Keep your eyes on Jesus!

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