Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. (From Saturday's Gospel reading)
Reflection for Saturday: Why is God slow in bringing justice?
In the parable about the widow who nagged the uncaring judge until he finally complied with her wishes, Jesus asks us, "Will not God (the Judge who does care) then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night?" It's a question meant to make us go, "Oh, duh, of course he will!"
"Will he be slow to answer?" he continues. And then, in case we still don't get it, he says: "I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily."
Remember, this is a parable about the necessity to pray always without becoming weary. Think about it: If God were speedy when we call out to him for justice, there would be no need to keep praying. Right? This sure seems like a contradiction!
I have suffered more than a few injustices and, in each situation, I went running to God. And I'm still waiting for justice in most cases. What's up with that? Why he is slow to respond? Have I not nagged him enough? Probably you have encountered the same dilemma, too. Am I right?
The key to understanding what Jesus is teaching here is to separate -- in our minds and in our hopes -- God's justice from the worldly idea of justice. For example, in the guise of "justice", there's a lot of unjust social pressure nowadays to accept homosexual activity and cross-gender behavior as normal and healthy and good. In the guise of "justice", we are not allowed to research into it and look at possible unhealthy causes, and therapists are not allowed to help clients heal from traumatic events that contributed to their sexual preferences -- how unjust! And we who follow Christ, because we refuse to make moral compromises, are accused of being unjust.
My point is: We need to be careful about how we define "justice". There are lots of counterfeits of true justice vying for our acceptance. Vengeance is another one. Entitlement (as in, "give me, give me, give me, and give it to me for free, because I deserve it just for the asking, without working for it") is another. You can think of several more.
In today's world, we all need to examine our consciences for ways we have made compromises with counterfeits.
God is always slow to bring justice to these situations, because he waits for the unjust one to turn to him for repentance and purification before it's too late.
God is the author of holy justice. Holy justice is what Jesus did for us on the cross. It's what God does to bring us to eternal life in heaven. Our "final judgement day" is when we come face to face with Jesus as we pass away from earth. Will he find faith in us? If we want justice -- God's version of justice -- we don't want to accept any counterfeits.
Inside the Ministry: Exciting News!
What an amazing weekend! A week ago, Ralph and I attended the national Catholic Charismatic leader's conference in Texas to showcase Good News Ministries with a booth.
God had a few delightful surprises in store for us there. He opened two doors for GNM that can take us to major breakthroughs in reaching many, many more people.
First, we met Josie Mendoza, Katherine Listi, and Betty Sarratt, who stopped by to say a happy hello because they are long-time "fans" of Good News Ministries.
1. New success in building the faith in families
Deacon Darrell Wentworth came to our booth and invited us to have a channel on his newly launched CMAX.TV, described as a Catholic Charismatic alternative to Netflix. The Good News Ministries channel will initially feature videos we've already made. Because CMAX collects a $10/month fee from subscribers, GNM will receive royalties for our content.
Deacon Darrell, seen here with Bishop Sam Jacobs, is a founding director of Awakening the Domestic Church conferences and now the Awakening the Domestic Church Project, a four-year foundational faith formation process using videos with small group discussions. It's designed to help lead adult Christians into spiritual maturity and discern the Lord's plan for their lives within committed Christian relationships.
The Awakening the Domestic Church Project works in collaboration with like-minded associations and movements that are concerned with defending marriage and the family as the first cell of the Church and of society. Imagine my delight meeting someone who loves collaborations as much as I do! Deacon Darrell invited me to come to his studios to make professional videos for the project. Eventually, I'll probably do this in conjunction with the book I'm writing on "30 Days to the Heart of Abba".
Thus in Good News Ministries' future is a wide open potential to make professional videos for parish use and to reach many thousands more people than we currently serve. This will be the fulfillment of the calling God first emphasized to me eight years ago. Since then, I've continued to feel the call to this level of professionalism and outreach, but I didn't know how God would take us there -- until now. Praise the Lord!
Stay tuned to this newsletter for more details as they unfold.
Another exciting project that he's working on is a movie about the preacher to the papal household, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, with whom he has a personal friendship. This documentary is something I look forward to watching, and I'm probably going to help Deacon Darrell raise funds for it. For more about this project, visit https://www.awakeningthedomesticchurch.com/cantalamessa.html.
2. New success in building the faith of young adults
While I was still on a high from my conversations with Deacon Darrell, a young man named Bill Snyder approached our booth and introduced himself. He has a podcast show on Breadbox Media where we have a channel for the Good News Reflections and a channel for the Good News Show (and another channel is being planned for teaching about the Bible from beginning to end).
Bill's show is called "Young Catholics Respond". Next week, I'll be the featured guest on one of his shows. I'm very excited about reaching more young adults and Bill is very excited about collaborating with Good News Ministries. He visited our website and became enthusiastic about what we do.
Interestingly, our collaboration began a week before the conference, on Facebook -- unaware that we'd both be going to this conference. And after a fun, lengthy chat face to face at our booth with Ralph, the three of us realized that God has put us together to do more for the Kingdom of God than one podcast interview. Keep reading this newsletter to find out what God is planning for us next!
3. WhatsApp Too!
And speaking of outreach to young adults and families, did you know that this is the generation that most uses WhatsApp? Our WhatsApp Ministry is evangelizing a growing number of young adults and families around the world. I notice this when I add new subscribers and see their profile pictures, such as this adorable family in Singapore.
When the Lord provides a new staff member who takes over the WhatsApp work, we'll have time to add more, such as Reflections for Couples and a Bible study course and a series on the Catechism (people are requesting these, and I believe it is the voice of Christ speaking through them, informing us about what to provide next). Please pray! God will provide, but he waits on your help, your partnership in the success of this venture and the other outreaches that are building. If you want to give us a head-start for our annual December fundraiser (one partner has already done so -- thank you, Patrick), you can make an online donation quickly and safely at https://secure.egsnetwork.com/donate/A011E74A79ED44F -- or send a check or money order from http://gnm.org/support-by-check/.