Saturday March 25, 2017
Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10
This has been a difficult week. My father, who's 87 and in weak condition, had surgery on Wednesday to pin together a broken neck that came from a fall early last December. In addition to wondering if he'd survive the surgery and post-op recovery, there was an overwhelming number of details to learn, research, plan, and arrange. At the same time, one of GNM's staff (Fernando, who handles some of our ministry to Hispanics and who is husband to Graciela, GNM's Assistant Director) has a father in hospital dying. We've been leaning heavily on God, because of the unknowns we faced. We had to choose between anxiety and trusting God.
Dad came through the surgery fine, thanks be to God. And we thank you for your part in the prayer support.
In Saturday's Gospel story, Mary has a very difficult decision to make. According to her society's rules, when a woman gets pregnant outside of marriage, she could be stoned to death for her blatant disregard of the sacredness of marriage. Surely Mary wondered how her beloved Joseph would react. The angel Gabriel did nothing to reassure her that Joseph would believe her explanation. And at first, he didn't!
What would her parents think? Even if they believed her, would the other relatives? Would her friends? She faced disapproval and misunderstanding from every direction. How did she find the courage to say yes to God's plan without reassurance that everything would turn out okay?
I think we all wish that God would describe his plans, outlined in 10 easy steps with the end results clearly detailed. He prefers, instead, that we trust him and rely on him. Mary found her courage in God. Trust is not a feeling; trust is a decision to depend on God's love and power and wisdom.
Here's a simple but powerful way to silence the voices of fear so that courage can grow:
1. Identify what message your fears are telling you. What are you afraid will happen if you forge ahead and do what God seems to be asking of you?
2. Remember that fear's message is based at least partially on falsehoods; ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of all the truths that contradict these lies.
3. Choose to act upon those truths -- respond to the truth instead of the fear. Move forward emboldened and encouraged ("in courage") by the awareness that you can safely trust in God's desire and ability to help you do everything that he asks of you. This is the moment of your own Annunciation experience. This is your opportunity to give God your own fiat, your own "Yes! Let it be done to me as you say!"
God speaks to us in annunciations every day. If we learn from Mary's example, she helps us to say "yes", and she's available as our nurturing mother and guide to help us live out that "yes."
These are short videos with meditations -- easy to find time to do, yet a powerful experience of Jesus ministering to you.
Every morning, I lift up in to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the fire of the Holy Spirit everyone who helps 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.
Your servant in Christ,
Good News Ministries
Keep your eyes on Jesus!
Look to the past with gratitude.
Live the present with passion.
Move into the future with hope.
Find creative ways to proclaim the gospel of joy!
(Wisdom by Pope Francis)