For you this week:
Saturday January 16, 2021
The word of God is living and effective,
sharper than any two-edged sword,
penetrating even between soul and spirit,
joints and marrow,
and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
No creature is concealed from him,
but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him
to whom we must render an account.
(From Saturday's first reading)
Reflection for Saturday:
Where will the blade of Jesus strike next?
The word of God is living and effective.... Jesus is the Word of God (as the first few verses of the Gospel of John explain), living and effective.
Jesus is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit.... He is a blade that cuts into the heart of the matter, and it hurts if we are in sin, especially if we don't want to let Jesus heal the destruction that sin is causing.
No creature is concealed from him .... No one can hide from Jesus. When we feel convicted of our need for repentance, we are feeling the work of the holy blade. When we act on it by becoming willing to let Jesus cut out what he did not give to us, we experience the joy of new freedoms -- freedoms that we did not realize we needed and have been longing for.
Many, many people today are not willing to let Jesus do this for them. They want to be their own god. They do not want to face their need for change.
Judy grew up in a faith-filled, Catholic home. As a teenager, she made a pledge to Jesus to delay sex until after marriage. However, in her late twenties, she dated an atheist and gave into his pressures and "logic" for having sex. After that, she stopped going to church. She began hiding from Jesus and the sharp blade that continually pricked her conscience. Several years and a few more atheist boyfriends later, she has lost her interest in having a family, and she is still avoiding church. She is still trying to ignore the prick of the blade.
This story is being lived out in almost every Christian family. Perhaps you know someone like Judy, someone who is trying hard to ignore the invitation by Jesus to repent and discover (or rediscover) a much better way.
Eventually everyone -- absolutely everyone -- must render an account. Jesus is Lord, after all, and even those who don't accept his Lordship come face to face with the Truth at the moment of their death.
We should care deeply about the condition of the souls who are rejecting Jesus and his ways. I once had a vision of Jesus crying over a friend of mine who was dying yet still refused to turn to him. If you feel like crying over the state of an unbeliever's soul, you are united to the tears and suffering of Jesus.
When I was a child and first learned about heaven and hell, I thought, "Well, I should be nice to those who are headed for hell, because their earthly life is the only chance they have for goodness and happiness." As an adult, it motivates me to pour endless hours into Good News Ministries.
We are all called to wield the blade of Christ -- not as a weapon that hurts others but as weapon that frees others. We live in a time when many people feel the blade is too sharp. They fight back or they flee. We must be brave and strong enough in our convictions about Christ to withstand their reactions. Wear the armor of God. It really does deflect most of the pain of their barbs and arrows.
Here's a prayer for that: https://gnm.org/prayers/armor-of-God.
Inside the Ministry: Special Events
Beginning now! (January 16) Consecrate the new year to St. Joseph.
Receive daily brief stories about various apparitions of St. Joseph, with prayers. In this 9-day consecration, we will seal ourselves as beloved children of Saint Joseph. Sign up now!
And be sure to check out our new webpage of resources for the Year of Saint Joseph for your home and family. We'll be adding more to this page; watch for the announcements here in this newsletter. Go now to gnm.org/saints-find/saint-joseph-for-your-home-and-family.
Beginning Monday! (January 18) The "Say Yes to Holiness" Winter Summit.
Join SmartCatholics to participate in this online conference. The "Say Yes to Holiness" Winter Summit will turn your focus upward to the face of Christ in the midst of everything that's been dragging you down. We need this now more than ever, right? And God needs us to catch the joy so that we can help others be lifted up, too.
I'm one of several Catholic speakers giving presentations. My 15-minute presentation is entitled Keep Christ in the Center (see below).
All of the talks and live events are FREE for the duration of the Summit! Spread the good news to everyone you know.
View the speaker lineup for the Summit and register at smartcatholics.com/yes-winter-summit.
Keep Christ in the Center for a Joyful Life (podcast)
Joy is a gift Jesus wants to give us as the antidote for the craziness of life. No matter how stressful or difficult life gets, and even in the best of times, putting Christ into the center of it always makes it much better. Learn how to conquer the distractions of worry, fear, weariness, pain, and heartbreak by seeing Jesus smiling at you in the middle of it all. You too can have a joyful life no matter what’s going on around you or in politics or in the world!
Remember, the key to having a joyful life is to see that Jesus is in the middle of everything. And if we can’t see him or if we know he’s there but we still feel anxious or fearful or depressed, we need to humble ourselves before him, repent and go to Confession for everything that distracts us from Jesus. And we need to spend more time praising him and worshiping him, which is most effective when done in person in front of the Tabernacle at church, during Mass, and in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
Listen to this podcast @ gnm.org/footsteps82.
Or watch the video @ gnm-media.org/keep-christ-in-the-center-for-a-joyful-life.
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!
And when you have to look at others, see them through his eyes.