For you this week:
Saturday April 3, 2021
“I died for you,” He said.
“Yes Lord,” I replied, raising my head in pride. “I know.”
“But do you know what that means?” He said. “Do you know what that means for your life?”
I thought of His death on the cross,
and I knew I needed His sacrifice.
I thought of His pain on the cross,
and I knew I needed His healing.
I thought of His sorrow and passion,
and I knew I needed His joy.
“I died for you,” He said.
“Yes Lord,” I replied, hanging my head in shame.
And He said, “Do you know — really know — what that means?”
“I guess not,” I replied.
“Come let me show you,” He said. And terror struck my heart.
Could I bear to behold the scene He would show?
Could I bear to see Him pierced in pain?
Could I bear to understand what He did for me?
“But I want to know,” I replied.
And then I saw His forehead
and the crown
and the thorn.
One thorn He showed me,
one thorn wounding His flesh,
and from it flowed
one drop of blood.
“Just one drop of blood?” I asked, raising my head in disappointment.
“Is that all You shed for me?” I asked, angry that I wasn’t worth more.
And He said:
“One drop of My Blood
holds all the power of sacrifice.
One drop of My Blood
holds all the power to heal.
One drop of My Blood
holds all the power to give you joy.”
“But Lord,” I replied,
“I want more than one drop.
There is so much more that You are,
and I want everything!”
“Yes,” He said. “I died for you.”
© 1992 by Terry A. Modica. You can download a copy of this from https://wordbytes.org/lent/one-drop-of-my-blood/.
Reflection for Saturday:
What was Jesus doing while he waited for resurrection?
While his dead human body lay in the tomb, was Jesus doing anything?
It's impossible for God to do nothing. While you're waiting for Him to answer your prayers or to heal broken relationships or to rescue your nation from unholy politicians -- or whatever it is that desperately needs divine intervention -- He might seem deaf or distant or disinterested in your prayer requests. But he is not. He is always listening. He is very near to you. He is totally interested in everything you say to Him.
It was impossible for Jesus to wait for the resurrection idly, inactively. Whenever there is anything at all that can be done for the sake of bringing His salvation to more people, He is doing it.
In the Apostles Creed we say that after His crucifixion, "He descended into Hell".
The word "Hell", in the days of the first Apostles, did not mean the eternal lake of fire for demons and unrepentant sinners. A better translation is Hades. It was the temporary realm of righteous souls who had died awaiting the Messiah. The Old Testament patriarchs and prophets and other holy people did not yet have access to Heaven because Jesus had not yet been crucified for their sins.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls Jesus' descent into the realm of the dead "the last phase of Jesus' messianic mission" (para. 634) during which he "opened heaven's gates for the just who had gone before him" (para. 167).
This is very important to know because this is what He wants us to do as we wait for the resurrections that we long for. Even when -- or precisely because -- all hope has apparently died, we are to participate in the on-going messianic mission of Christ.
God is not sitting idly by, ignoring our prayers. Nor is he saying "no" to our prayer requests, leaving us to suffer in the misery of feeling like He doesn't care or He doesn't understand what we understand.
He is saying, "Yes, I care very much, even more than you do. Yes, I am taking action, working a plan -- a plan for good and not disaster -- because you love Me. Yes, the situations that worry you are in My almighty hands. Yes, the way I answer your prayers will look very different than what you're hoping for so that it can turn out much, much better. Now, while you wait for the manifestation of My Divine Will to happen in My perfect timing, stop focusing on what evil is doing, and spend your tomb-time doing what I have gifted and called you to do: Spread My Kingdom on Earth."
Inside the Ministry: Don't Miss The Joy of Love
Explore the wisdom in Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Amoris laetitia (The Joy of Love) in GNM's 9-week course. We will cover one chapter each week, unpacked in 3 short (5- or 6-minutes long) videos.
April 12 – June 11
Short videos + chat
This is important in today’s world where secular and immoral beliefs about marriage and family have become louder than the truth.
Hosted on SmartCatholics: Here you can join conversations with new friends and chat with me at your convenience. Join today. Go to https://members.smartcatholics.com/groups/3674922/topics. If you're new to SmartCatholics, after you sign up to become a member (its free), use this link to see the list of topics Good News Ministries is offering. Choose to "FOLLOW" the topic named "The Joy of Love".
Class materials: We provide the pope’s document Amoris laetitia (The Joy of Love) as a PDF to download. It's available in the post @ https://members.smartcatholics.com/posts/12847076.
Cost: As in everything else from Good News Ministries, there is no fee. We hope that you will prayerfully consider making a donation to help keep our ministry going and growing so that others can be blessed like you.
The Longer It Takes, the Greater the Glory (podcast)
What have you been praying for — for a long time? Even if it’s been many years, that does not mean that your prayers are not being answered. It just means that you’re carrying the Cross with Jesus. The longer it takes, the greater the glory will be. It’s going to be more glorious because you persisted. And the pain of persisting (sacrificing your impatience, for example) brings about a more glorious end!
Or watch the video @ gnm-media.org/christina-semmens-of-say-yes-to-holiness-interviews-terry-modica.
Evangelization is a lot harder today because the world’s gotten a lot darker and people are caught up in the lies and tricks of Satan, the snares of Satan. It used to be that we could be friends with unbelievers and help them become interested in Christ through the way they’d see us handle stressful situations with peace and joy. They would say, “What do you have that I’m missing?” Now they’re saying, “You’re bad and I’m good.” It’s moral relativism reaching its conclusion: “Anything goes, and I’m my own god, I can make up my own mind what’s right and good and what’s sinful and what’s not sinful. So why would I even want to come to you? You’re the enemy!”
It’s practically impossible to evangelize somebody whose mind is set, trapped in the mindset of the world. There’s not much we can do except pray for them and wait on the Lord to do something awesome. The Lord has us in a place where he’s teaching us that without him we can’t do it. When we pray and don’t see the answers to our prayers, the Lord is teaching us persistence: Don’t give up! A greater glory is coming!
I think that the Lord is planning a renewal, because as dark as things get, God has a plan to conquer that darkness. The good that comes from the bad is always going to be far greater than how bad the bad was.
Our part in God’s plan while we wait is to get as holy as we can be, get as close to God as we can, get as purified as we can be, because that’s how we get through the suffering with joy instead of being fearful, depressed, and miserable.
It's clear that we’re now in a season of prayer and getting ready for the glory of the next phase of God's plan. While we’re waiting for others to turn to Christ, he’s asking you and me: “Are you willing to go through some hard times for the sake of those who have not yet turned to Me?”
A really good meditation is to make a list of every person who has wounded you in any way. Then think about: How does each one of those situations connect to what Jesus went through in his Passion?
When you stop and reflect on how you and Jesus are united in these sufferings, a couple of things happen. One is that your burden is lighter because you’re becoming more aware that Jesus is taking some of your pain. Jesus said that when they reject you they’re rejecting him. So, whenever somebody hurts us they are hurting Jesus. That makes me weep for them. It makes me stop crying for myself out of self-pity and weep for them.
The other thing that happens is that our suffering becomes redemptive. The worst kind of suffering is the suffering that’s got no point to it. No glory of God. It’s just pain. It’s just pain that we want to get rid of. When we realize that we can connect it to Jesus and offer it up for the people who have been hurting us, our suffering becomes redemptive. It’s got a purpose. It’s got an eternal, noble purpose. An awesome purpose. And we are so united to Jesus that it brings us joy even in the midst of our tears.
From the Cross to Easter in Daily Life (video reflection)
Easter joy comes not only from accepting what Jesus did for us on the cross but also from continuing the journey with Jesus, united to his ministry of helping others grow in their eternal relationship with God. In this, we face the cross again and again. There is no gain in salvation without the pain of sacrificial love. But oh the victory gained!
Watch the video @ https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/VtxQ9F4CvmM.
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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