"A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled.... Some seed fell on rocky ground... Some seed fell among thorns... And some seed fell on good soil." (From Saturday's Gospel reading)
Reflection for Saturday: God's extravagance for lost souls
Isn't it amazing that Jesus tells a parable about a farmer, who represents God the Father, sowing seeds everywhere? Everywhere! Even where he knew that nothing would sprout and bear fruit.
God's generosity surprises us. He's extravagant even to the point of being (seemingly) wasteful. Consider the people in your life who've been rejecting the Faith. Remember this: God hasn't given up on them. He's still sowing seeds in their lives, and he will continue to do so all the way until their last chance, their last breath.
There are a few things we can do to help fertilize their soul (or soil) so that God's seeds will finally take root. (1) One way to help is to stop bailing them out from the troubles they get themselves into; we need to stop playing the role of savior. (2) A second way is to be God's partner in sowing seeds; generously use every opportunity to plant the truth. Not as a nag, not in debates, and certainly not in anger (though we feel very frustrated). With the Holy Spirit's help, we can recognize golden moments when the truth needs to be spoken, and then we'd better not shy away from doing it because of being afraid of what they'll think of us.
I've seen Jesus cry over those who are saying no to him. Many years ago, I visited a favorite college professor who was in the hospital dying from cancer. He was an atheist. On the drive there, as I prayed for his soul, a vision came. Jesus was standing by his bedside crying with deep, deep, profoundly deep sadness.
In the hospital, the professor asked me, knowing I was Christian, if I could heal him supernaturally. I said no, only Jesus could do that. He replied, "I don't want anything to do with him."
Any of us who have wept for the souls of loved ones who are rejecting Jesus have experienced a small portion of his sorrow. As deep and painful as our sorrow has been, Jesus feels it much, much more. No wonder God keeps sowing seeds extravagantly!
Finally! New video series on the Mass is ready to deepen your faith!
Sidetracked by Hurricane Irma, I've finally finished editing and repackaging Take, Eat and Drink (Drawing Deeper Faith through Understanding the Mass) from it's 2011 DVD format. It's now a playlist on our website and YouTube as a series of 17 short segments (three to six minutes). Each one ends with a thought-provoking, faith-deepening question for personal reflection or group discussion.
Next week I'll start working on handouts for it. Then it will become available as a downloadable set for catechists.
This is no ordinary product of Good News Ministries. It features Msgr. Rick Hilgartner, who at the time was Executive Director of the Secretariat of Divine Worship at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Father Gary Dowsey of the "Hey Father Gary!" show on SpiritFM Catholic Radio in Tampa, and Father John Gerth of "Ask Fr. J" fame on Lifeteen.com.
A viewer's comment from 2011: "Wow … have already seen the DVD twice in a few hours. It's just too good giving me a really deeper insight in understanding the Mass, the words and actions. God bless you for such a DVD." ~ Joan
God bless 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 gnm.org
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)