• Reflection for Saturday: You, too, were wonderfully made!
• This week's video: The Purpose Driven Catholic
• Did you know? We have Good News artists on the team
• Is there anyone who cannot help us build the Kingdom of God?
Saturday June 24, 2017
Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the LORD. (From Saturday's first reading)
Do you realize how closely alike you and John the Baptist are? Today's first reading shows us that God had a special purpose for John the Baptist since before he was born. The Lord did the same for you! Since the moment of your conception, even before you looked human and had a beating heart and a brain that could think, God created you with a special purpose in mind.
To find out more about this, read the entire reflection on our website.
The key to successful Christian living is know the answer to: "How important am I, and why? What's my purpose?" What are your dreams? What are God's dreams for you? To figure that out, consider: What impassions you? What energizes you? You have been chosen by Christ to be empowered by the Spirit! But -- for what?
This video is an excerpt of my Parish Retreat about the Apostolate of the Laity.
(By the way, try not to be distracted by the broken arm of Jesus on the crucifix behind me. I didn't notice it until long after this video was published. I have no idea how it got broken. But here's an interesting bit of trivia: It's an old crucifix from my husband's childhood. A "sick call" crucifix. Inside are stored two candles and a vessel for holy water to be used by priests during the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick at home. Does anyone still use a sick call set? It was a lovely tradition.)
I greatly enjoy giving members of Good News Ministries the opportunity to use their gifts and talents to build the kingdom of God. One of our artists is Marianne Arthur. She is a mail carrier who took art classes as a child and young adult.
She told me: "When I got baptized at the age of 17, I noticed my ability to draw improved dramatically. I knew then wholeheartedly that my talent was a gift from God. I know I am supposed to draw for you."
One of the paintings she produced for Good News Ministries was made for our marriage website to illustrate God's plan for marriage. It's named Gay Humility. I had been visualizing it in my head; Marianne beautifully translated it onto paper.
For the past 6 years, we've relied heavily on a couple of generous benefactors to get us through the year. Our annual December fundraiser only provides about a third of what it takes to keep this ministry going all year long. But God does not want us to keep depending on the wealthy, because EVERYone is called to help build the Kingdom of God. To get our attention, God has withheld really big donations.
He wants you to know how important you are to Good News Ministries. Growing in faith to nurture one's self is only the first part of the faith life. We are ALL supposed to take action to build up the faith life of others.
There is something everyone can do: Pray. Everyone can do that. How about fasting for Good News Ministries? Then donate the money saved from the meals you did not eat. If everyone does this, a little becomes a lot.
The money donated last December will run out in two months unless the Lord provides – through many benefactors – $11,000/month ($370 a day) or $33,000 to reach the end-of-year fundraiser. Some have responded to the call this week and we're halfway to the goal.
What delights me (and Jesus!) most are those who are struggling financially and yet made a sacrifice to give small donations. Jesus will multiply this like the loaves and fish!
Celine R. is a great example. She says, "We will surely pray that GNM gets lots of funds not only to pay their staff, but surplus so that the good news is spread far and wide through videos, etc. We also plan to send messages to our friend circle to donate whatever little they can to GNM, and we are sure the Lord will help us achieve more that we desire. Also, I and my son have fasted for 2 days and will sent this amount to GNM."
If you are already championing the Good News, Jesus and I thank you very much! To EVERYone else: Please join us in the mission of Christ! This is an urgent call.
Remember, the Lord promises to reward those who obey his commands about tithing (see Malachi 3:10). Trust in the Lord! I am. I'm confident that the Lord will keep Good News Ministries going and growing. It is his will. But he is waiting to do it through you and many others.
"If you have great wealth, give alms out of your abundance; if you have but little, do not be afraid to give alms even of that little. You will be storing up a goodly treasure for yourself against the day of adversity. For almsgiving delivers from death and keeps one from entering into Darkness. Almsgiving is a worthy offering in the sight of the Most High for all who practice it." (From Tobit 4:7-11)
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)