Saturday July 6, 2024

Miracles happen when we embrace change

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


“People do not put new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. Instead, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:17)


Good News Reflection for:

Saturday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time
July 6, 2024

Today’s Readings:

Amos 9:11-15
Psalm 85:9-14
Matthew 9:14-17
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/070624.cfm
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/daily-mass-reading-podcast-july-6-2024

When we experience loss, God gives us new wine

When our lives seem to be falling apart or breaking, we need to discern if God’s will for us is new wine.

When my husband Ralph passed away, it was a shock. It felt like my insides were being ripped out. Ralph had been intimately embedded in my life for 48 years, and all of a sudden, way too young, the old wineskin burst.

One of the first things I heard Jesus say was: “I know it hurts terribly, but I have plans for you — plans for good and not disaster. You’ll be doing new things” (referring to Jeremiah 29:11).

It’s true. Although I still miss Ralph, I’ve joined a ministry in my parish that I never would have taken time for before, and it’s wonderful. And this is just the start of tasting new wine!

Miracles happen when we embrace the changing of wineskins from old to new. Good News Ministries has changed skins several times. One of my favorite testimonies happened in 2004. Back then, we were a very small organization. No staff — and I was unpaid except for when Ralph and I had speaking engagements. And the only donations that the ministry received came from those parish missions and retreats.

For three years, Mons. Joseph Kimu, rector of a seminary in Malawi, had been inviting me to come teach his seminarians and professors and diocesan catechists for a week. My reply was always: “When God wants me to go, he’ll provide the funds.” The cost for airfare was $3,000.

One day, a letter arrived offering a grant. I had not searched for it. I had not requested the grant application. This never happens: The foundation actually made the first contact! They invited me to submit a request. When I explained Fr. Joseph’s wish, they donated $1500 toward it.

At that moment, GNM had only $1500 in the bank. Going to Malawi would empty the account, but when existing funds plus the grant equaled the exact amount needed for the trip, it was too coincidental to be anything but the Lord. Sure, it would be risky to deplete the old wineskin (the bank account). And it felt risky to be an American woman traveling alone to a Third World country. But if we are sincere about serving the Lord, we must go wherever he leads.

That trip turned out to be one of the best adventures of my life. And the ripple affect of what I did there is still making a difference — in Malawi and in Good News Ministries. One of the courses I taught was Pope Saint John Paul II’s encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, and it evolved into an online course. More recently the skin changed again and it became the book My Soul Shall Be Healed (see enroutebooksandmedia.com/mysoulshallbehealed).

We grow in holiness when we allow ourselves to be challenged by what is inconvenient, when we gain from loss, and we trust God for our future. When old wineskins burst, he gives us new wine; we’ll find it in the fresh wineskins that he provides to hold it.

For more on this, see Finding God When Disaster Hits @ wordbytes.org/suffering/disasters.

Please help me keep this ministry going. Visit gnm.org/donate.

© 2024 by Terry A. Modica

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Terri B.
Terri B.
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July 5, 2024 11:03 am

Awesome!