For you this week:
Saturday January 23, 2021
Jesus came with his disciples into the house.
Again the crowd gathered,
making it impossible for them even to eat.
When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him,
for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
(From Saturday's Gospel reading)
Reflection for Saturday:
Why we need more "crazy" prophets
This Saturday's gospel reading is very short. So short that it begs the question: What is the point God wants to make?
Well, Jesus was called "crazy" and now we're living through crazy times. Has anyone said that you are "out of your mind" for doing what is right and just and holy? If yes, then you know how crazy the world has become. And you are united to Jesus. Rejoice! (It's disheartening to be disbelieved because of your faith, but rejoice in being a close friend of Jesus.)
As you know, over the past several decades, evil has slowly upped its game. "It's not really a sin," the devil says, "if it feels good." This is moral relativism. This is cheap grace. And now nearly everyone (unless we consciously resisted it) has been tricked through demonic propaganda to embrace it.
Now good is believed by many to be evil, and evil (immorality, rioting, hatred, etc.) is considered good. The propaganda techniques have worked so well that now anyone who vocalizes the truth is "out of his mind" and is even to be hated, attacked, and silenced. It's become so "normal" that it's been given a label: the "cancel culture".
Contemporary prophets have been warning about this. They have been speaking up despite being disbelieved. You probably heard the mantra that began when US Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett was accused of following her Catholic conscience: "The dogma lives loudly in you!" As if this were an insult.
Recently I heard a priest (Father Richard Heilman) say that to be like Jesus is to be a "loving threat". He went on to explain that to be loving does not always mean being nice -- especially if being nice does nothing to help the other person's endangered soul. The truth is a threat to those who don't want to give up their sinful ways or, at best, don't want anyone telling them that a sin is a sin.
"Coincidentally", while I was writing that last sentence, I got a phone call in which I felt very attacked. (Praise the Lord!) Good News Ministries was falsely accused by someone in a diocesan office who jumped to wrong conclusions. The man who called rejected my defense; he assumed the worst.
A couple of weeks ago, my spiritual director (another priest) told me that I am a prophet. Then he gave the best description of a prophet that I've ever heard. He said that prophets are gifted by God to see what others cannot see and are therefore called by God to show it to others. He further explained that often a prophet sees details so small that others overlook it, but the prophet sees a huge importance in it and is compelled by the Holy Spirit to reveal to others (1) that it is true and does exist, and (2) how important it really is.
Has God gifted you with the same ability? Are you responding to his call? The world needs more vocal prophets who are willing to be rejected and criticized. ("He's out of his mind.") And the prophets need prayer warriors who remind them, "No you are not crazy. It's the world that's gone crazy. Keep doing what you're doing for the Lord. You are not alone. I'm covering you with my prayers."
This is how we today can defeat evil. Join our 7 Warriors of the Cross ministry to be one of the prayer warriors for Good News Ministries. And if I can help you rise up to be a prophet with confidence and courage, tell me what you need from Good News Ministries.
In baptism we've all been given a share in the prophetic ministry of Jesus. Remember what he said in Matthew 28:19-20? "GO! Go and make disciples of ALL nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. And teach them to obey everything I have commanded". He did not say, "Go to some of the individuals in every nation." But he said, "Go to nations." That means take the commandments of Christ and the prophetic role of Christ into the politics that run nations.
Dare to go where people think you are out of your mind for standing so strongly in the truth. Let the dogma speak loudly in you. That's what a prophet does. God will embrace you and comfort you when you're condemned and cancelled. How? Here's an example:
Trudy in Australia was led by the Holy Spirit to send me the following message.
We should all be encouraging you more and more. You place yourself out there on the "front line". We (the public) benefit from your efforts. Although this is your anointed calling, it’s still not easy for you. I, like many others I’m sure, are very grateful for your prophetic voice.
Let me be God's gift of encouragement today, by encouraging you.
I have been receiving copies of Good News Reflections for maybe 30 years?? Today, I would just simply like to say "thank you" to you and your team for these wonderful reflections which have spoken to my spirit, educated me, uplifted me, encouraged me, and deepened my faith and love for Jesus. I follow them daily, and appreciate receiving them.
I know you and the team are going through very tough times at present, but I simply want to encourage you and say "please don't stop".
Your work is too valuable, and the enemy knows it. We (the public) need to ramp up our prayer support for you.
The Holy Spirit says: "If only you would listen to him today..." (Hebrews 3:7)
The Holy Spirit speaks through you -- if only people could hear the urgency with what you are saying, about these times and these days, and not be afraid, then I believe we would indeed have a stronger army of believers ready to intercede in the great spiritual battle that is taking place.
I am grateful for the many hard years of commitment, dedication and perseverance you have put into GNM, so I simply want to respond to the Holy Spirit today by being his voice to you, by thanking you, and encouraging you and reminding you that I and thousands of people around the world have heard and listened to your prophetic voice, and appreciate it.
May our Loving God continue to pour out his Holy Spirit upon you and your ministry. May he anoint you and inspire you with wisdom and insight to continue to be his voice in this troubled world.
Every grace and blessing
Trudy in Australia
Inside the Ministry: Help for living the dogma loudly
Did you know that we have a ministry of emboldening and encouraging you in your own calling to be a prophet? It's called "Heroes of the Faith". Every day we send out a quote by a Saint or the story of a Saint who lived the faith heroically.
Sign up for the daily emails at https://elists.gogoodnews.net/dada/mail.cgi/list/saints/.
New! Access the list of upcoming online events
This year we're providing so many faith-building events we need a special page where you can find out what's happening!
Currently we're finishing up two important events. The next one will be for Lent.
Save this in your favorites!
New! Join me live on Zoom
In an exciting new development, we are starting a weekly Zoom meeting. I'd love to connect with you "in person"! If you sign up in our (free) SmartCatholics group, on Mondays you will be given a video to watch (usually from the Footsteps to Heaven podcast show). Then on Thursdays we will meet up in Zoom to get deeper into the topic through interactive discussion.
The first live Footsteps to Heaven get-together will take place on Thursday February 11 at 10:00 am (US Eastern time). The topic: Helpers from Heaven. Register @ https://members.smartcatholics.com/events/helpers-from-heaven.
God the Advocate is defending you (podcast)
Do you feel like you’re on trial? Is someone misjudging you? In this podcast, I unpack eight scriptures to assure you that God is your Advocate defending you. Jesus said that he would give his Holy Spirit to us to be our Advocate. But before the Holy Spirit, Jesus was our Advocate, and before that, the Father was our Advocate. There is no reason to be self-defensive. God has our backs!
Listen to this podcast @ gnm.org/footsteps10.
Or watch the video @ gnm-media.org/god-is-defending-you.
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.
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