Tuesday January 17, 2023

Good News Reflections:
Making scripture meaningful to your daily life
by Terry Modica

“If you take refuge in God, you can hold fast to the hope that lies before you.”

Good News Reflection for:

Tuesday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Anthony, Abbott
January 17, 2023

Today’s Prayer:

Praised be to You, Lord, because You have arranged everything to save us. In You I find rest, nourishment and abundant life. Amen.

SaintsSubscribe to Today’s Saint Quote & Prayer:

Today’s Readings:

Hebrews 6:10-20
Ps 111:1-2, 4-5, 9, 10c
Mark 2:23-28
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

God’s encouragement and affirmation

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

If you’re serving your family, your church, your employer, your customers, or your friends in any way, God appreciates what you’re doing! That’s the message of today’s first reading.

Sometimes, it seems like our kind efforts make little difference. This scripture is God’s compassionate voice reassuring us. He’s encouraging you and affirming you in the services you give. He who began a good work in you has not forgotten about any of your efforts. He’s very pleased with what you’ve already done, and he’s asking you to keep serving his kingdom with the same zeal, the same eagerness that you had at the beginning — for the sake of others.

For example, the Good News Ministries that my husband Ralph and I founded in 1995 actually began two years prior, when a few people near Tampa (Florida) prayed the Rosary asking God to send someone who could start this ministry. At the time, we lived in New Jersey with no plans to move. One year later, Ralph and I attended Charlie Osburn’s Good News Catholic Evangelization School in Pensacola, Florida.

There, as I prayed about getting involved in this ministry while kneeling before a statue of Mary, I sensed a holy, unseen presence next to me — a female presence dressed in blue. I couldn’t believe that the Blessed Mother would visit me personally, but later I realized that she had been sent to guide me because of the rosaries that others were praying.

Within a year, Jesus led us to Tampa, and only 30 days later we met a priest, parish, and core team ready and eager to host a Good News School under our leadership. We began holding seminars, parish missions, and week-long conferences. God affirmed, God encouraged, and the ministry grew. (Call this Phase 1.)

Then hardships arrived. We entered the test that everyone experiences if they truly want to be effective ministers for Christ: Would we practice what we preached? Our trials turned everything upside-down. And God affirmed, God encouraged, we endured, we waited, we lost the priest who’d become our chaplain, Ralph lost the freedom to spend time on the ministry, the core team drifted off into other interests, and the only place where the ministry grew was on the Internet, mostly by myself. (Phase 2.)

Repeatedly, God reminded us of his promises regarding the work he had begun in us, as with Abraham: “I will bless your ministry and multiply it.” So, thanks be to God, every trial has been producing fruits like we’d never imagined in the beginning — fruits that bless others abundantly, not only over the Internet but also in personal encounters and live speaking engagements.

Eventually, Phase 3 began. A staff of one grew to four and sometimes five to keep things going and growing. Thanks to the trials we endured in Phase 2 (some of which have still not ended), we’re able to help people to whom we would otherwise be useless. I’m able to write these Good News Reflections that touch people at the heart of their own trials, as if (according to what some readers tell me) I’m right there in their homes.

If you’re suffering, remember that God has intervened with an oath. If you take refuge in him, you can hold fast to the hope that lies before you. This is an anchor for your soul. Whatever you do for Christ in the midst of trials becomes the foundation of a work that someday he will complete — with tremendous blessings for countless others.

For more of this story, with photos, visit https://gnm.org/about-history/.

© 2023 by Terry A. Modica

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