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This week's news:
Saturday July 20, 2019
Psalm 136:1, 23-24, 10-12, 13-15
The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. (From Saturday's Gospel reading)
Reflection for Saturday:
Are you being criticized over the truth?
If you're doing what Jesus calls all of his followers to do -- standing up for the truth despite the objectors and persecutors and the pharisees in your parish -- you know how Jesus felt in this Saturday's Gospel reading. And you can proceed with the assurance that he knows how you feel about it!
By "pharisee" I mean a Christian who has knowledge of the truth and is very religious about it but who lacks the heart of the truth. And the heart, of course, is love. Compassion. The caring that challenges us to increase our holiness without scolding us or refusing to listen to what's in our hearts.
Who has "taken counsel" against you, i.e., criticized you behind your back about how you live the Faith or what you have said about the teachings of the Catholic Church? Who has gotten rid of you by dividing themselves from you because worldly influences have pulled them away from the truth and the demons behind worldly influences hate you?
Sometimes I think that a great idea for a new parish ministry is "Persecuted Parents", which would be (as I envision it) a monthly gathering of parents whose adult children get angry at us for not agreeing with their worldly ways. It would be a time of praying for one another, adding each other's children to our prayer lists, and sharing with each other ways to cope.
I haven't mentioned this idea to my pastor, because I simply do not have time to organize it and lead it (due to my responsibilities in Good News Ministries -- you know I have a wish list of the help I'd like to hire so I could balance my life better). But I'm writing about it in case anyone reading this might be called to start it in their own parish (or tell me about an already-existing similar ministry where you live).
Learning to cope with the sad results of persecution is imperative. Several years ago, I wrote from my own experiences and published the WordByte entitled, "The truth of your testimony: Are you being persecuted for speaking the truth?"
A barometer of how well our lives reflect Jesus is whether or not we're being persecuted. When we are truly shining light into darkness, those in darkness react against us.... When your life testifies to the truth of God, the light of Christ in you startles people out of their sleep. If they really want to remain in darkness, they will try to find a way to shut off your light....
So what should we do with the sufferings caused by persecution? What's your usual way of coping: Do you rejoice or do you join your persecutors in their darkness by turning off the light to fight back, or by protecting yourself using a compromise of the truth, or by complaining? ...
For more on this, go to wordbytes.org/passion-spirituality/persecuted/.
Footsteps to Heaven podcast series:
Going Deeper Into the Mass
The Soul-lifting Gloria
The timing of the Gloria during the Catholic Mass is important. It comes immediately after the Penitential Rite for a reason. We sing our praises to God after we've opened ourselves to the healing of our souls. Having received forgiveness, we want to sing praises to God and give him our gratefulness. We are grateful that Jesus died on the cross for us to take away the sins that we thought about during the Penitential Rite. We sing "Glory!" because we are excited that we have been set free from the enslavement of sins. In a spirit of thanksgiving, we sing or pray the Gloria together -- the priest and laity together as one body. This is when we begin to really enter into celebrating the glory of God. The Gloria is meant to inspire awe.
Listen to this podcast @ gnm.org/footsteps22
The Life-Changing Liturgy of the Word
It's important to really have an open mind and heart and to really listen to what God wants to say to us throughout the Holy Mass. He speaks most clearly during the Liturgy of the Word. It's meant to change us! And it's meant to empower us to go out from church and change the world. This is why the ministry of reading the Word of God -- and cantoring the psalms -- is the work of evangelization.
Go deeper into the Liturgy of the Word by listening to this podcast @ gnm.org/footsteps23
Inside the Ministry:
Online retreat begins Monday
Mystical Union with Christ in Daily Life
A new series of podcasts in The Good News Show comes from the live retreat I gave in New Zealand back in 2010.
Today is your last chance to sign up using the links below.
What has wearied you? What are your troubles? Arise! Come and experience the joy of deeper union with Christ your Healer!
In Mystical Union with Christ in Daily Life, we will use the Mysteries of the Rosary to rise to new heights of faith, hope and love.
Your healing will come as you listen to these presentations:
If you'd like to be notified as soon as each episode is published:
God bless you!
Thank you for reading this newsletter.
Your servant in Christ,
Terry Modica, Executive Director
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)