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My Soul Shall Be Healed
by Terry Modica

An easy-to-use study guide on Ecclesia de Eucharistia
(The Church of the Eucharist) by Saint John Paul II
Get your copy today!

INSIDER'S VIEW
The weekly news of Good News Ministries

For you this week:

  • Reflection for Saturday: Confession, one-to-one evangelization 
  • Inside the Ministry: People are "chomping at the bit"
  • New: Upgraded design for GNM video site

Saturday July 31, 2021

ScripturesLeviticus 25:1, 18-27
Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 7-8
Matthew 14:1-12
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/073121.cfm
Podcast:
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/2021-07-31

Saints Calendar:
gnm.org/saints-find/saints-calendar

May God bless us, and may all the ends of the earth fear him! (From Saturday's responsorial psalm)


Reflection for Saturday:
Confession, one-to-one evangelization

By Fr. Thomas Calleja OFMConv
from Qawra, Malta

Fr Calleja in Vatican ConfessionalRecently I asked the Lord to grant me a break and change the air after an extended period of pandemic lock downs. The Lord understood my need; out of the blue just a couple of days later, I received an invitation to hear confessions for 5 weeks at the Vatican.

My Conventual Franciscan community in Malta agreed that I should accept the invitation. I soon flew to Rome.

The following day I started my ministry of hearing confessions in St. Peter's Basilica!

This was not the first time. I used to go to Rome every summer to hear confessions. I love this ministry. It gives me opportunity to do one-to-one evangelization.  I try to make the penitent aware that confession is a personal encounter with Jesus who said: "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Mark 2:17). In the Sacrament of Confession we meet the same Jesus who forgave the woman caught in adultery (John 8:11) and the repentant thief who was crucified with him (Luke 23:43).

In the confessional box as a priest, I am aware that I'm just an instrument in God's hands, a channel of his love, mercy and forgiveness.

First I welcome and try to make the person feel comfortable as I give them time for expressing his/her wrongdoing. Then I try, with simple words, to convince the person that God, who is Love, wants to forgive all the sins that he or she has listed, together with all the sins that they have forgotten and even all the sins that they have committed from the time they where a little child till this very day.

I tell them that the Lord is not so much interested in their lists of sins, and the priest is even less interested. What the Lord desires most: He never refuses a contrite spirit, and a humble and contrite heart he will not spurn (Psalm 50). I normally explain that the Lord wants to grab all the sins they committed and throw them into the river of his love, mercy and forgiveness. I explain that the current of the waters carries away their sins and they will never have them again. I add that in that same river the Lord wants to give them a wash-up and also a clean heart and a pure spirit. 

I often tell them that the Lord wants also to give them "new walking shoes". When I say this, I always see a smile on their face. They wonder why I mentioned the walking shoes. I explain that Jesus wants us not only to follow him, but also to walk closer with him. I remind them that Jesus' last words were: "I will be with you always, till the end of time (Matthew 28:20). I further explain that he is The Truth and so he keeps his words and is truly with us. But very often we are not with him. Jesus wants us to walk closer to him, like the sheep we read about in Psalm 23. This sheep in the Psalm shares that she has everything she needs (vs 1).

I try to explain how this sheep needs to be a model for us all. The Lord provided her with green pastures and living water. His rod and staff guided her. He prepared a table for her. At one point she says, "Even if walk through a valley of darkness, I will not be afraid". And the sheep explains why: "Because YOU LORD ARE WITH ME" (vs 4). That's the secret of her relationship with the Shepherd. The shepherd was with her and she was with him. This is the key to understanding the relationship between them.

During confession the Lord wants to have the same relationship with you and me -- with all of us. He wants to be with us and he wants us to be with him. 

As a follow-up to the confession, I invite the person to do some homework. I ask the person to go home, find a good and quiet time, open the Bible, look for Psalm 23, read it slowly and meditate upon it. Then I invite the person to see her/himself in the shoes of that sheep and see Jesus in that Shepherd -- in other  words, make the sheep's experience their own experience.

At the end of the confession I notice that their face now is shining with joy. Jesus has touched their heart. I strongly believe that this is the beauty of confession: to help the person to meet and experience the presence of Jesus and his love for them. This is what I believe evangelization is all about. As Saint Teresa of Calcutta put it: "To have Jesus present in your heart and make him present in the hearts of others". Indeed, confession is a good opportunity to give Jesus and his forgiveness to others in a way that changes their lives forever.

Did you know Good News Ministries answers common questions about Confession on our website? Please visit wordbytes.org/faqs/#TOC2.


Inside the Ministry: People are "chomping at the bit"

Beth and Javy Solis are excited about My Soul Shall Be Healed study guideGNM member Beth Solis is excited about my new book "My Soul Shall Be Healed".

She wrote to say:

[My husband] Javy and I are excited that our book shipment came in. Now we can start our book study! I purchased ten books. But already 15 people are chomping at the bit to do this book study with us!

We invited two big families to our house to meet once a week. We already meet with them for Bible study at their home, so this will be done on a separate evening once a week at our house.

These families are very special. One family came into the Church in our parish through RCIA in 2019. The father was a dynamic Baptist preacher who pastored a local church in our area. About six years ago he and his family went on a year-long mission trip to Cameroon to help with a Bible translation project.

As God’s grace would have it, while they were working on this project their eyes began to open to see that the Catholic Church has the whole Truth! It threw this former-Baptist pastor into a flurry of reading and research that ultimately led to the conversion of his whole family and also the conversion of his wife’s mother. She is in our Bible study group, too, and is very interested in doing the book study using your new book, My Soul Shall Be Healed.

On top of this, his wife’s sister (a former atheist/agnostic) and her husband and family are also in this Bible study group. They plan to join us for the Eucharist book study too! They keep asking when we are going to start our study of the Eucharist so they can understand why Catholics believe in the True Presence.

We can’t wait to get started! 

Does Beth's story give you an idea? What groups do you belong to? What friends could you invite to your home to start a new group? Beth is going to give a copy of My Soul Shall Be Healed to her priest and will recommend it for parish study groups. You can do the same! I'll give you a free copy to place in the hands of your own priest. (Or you can help me out by covering the cost yourself.)

For more information or to order this book, please go to gnm.org/terry-modica-author/my-soul-shall-be-healed.


New: Upgraded design for GNM video site

 I'm delighted to announce that our Media Center (gnm-media.org) is getting an upgrade! It's something we've wanted to do for a long time but it's so labor intensive, we put it off.

But then the old code stopped working and we had to make it one of our top priorities.

We've accumulated more than 260 videos since I filmed my first YouTube video in 2010 in my living room. "Four Types of Friends" (youtu.be/qapk3ytjiWE) is about the story in Mark 2 where Jesus heals the paralytic. He was lowered through the roof by four friends. In the video I explain that their helpfulness illustrates the need we all have for friends. Then I describe the four personality types that bring out the best in us.

For the past several days, we've been re-adding videos to the website. Gradually, they'll all become available again as Graciela and I squeeze the work into our schedules of other must-do tasks. (Our webmasters Jeremy and Michaela have other important projects; we frankly don't have enough of a web crew!)

Remember that this site and all our sites will be down for maintenance this Sunday afternoon (Florida time) as our aging server gets replaced by a new one. Please keep this in your prayers. If you're reading this by email during the outage, and the images don't show, this is why.


God bless you!

Every morning, I lift up in prayer everyone who helps Good News Ministries in any way (donors, volunteers, prayer supporters, etc.) and all the prayer requests posted on our site.

Thank you for reading this newsletter.

Terry ModicaYour servant in Christ,
Terry Modica, Executive Director
Good News Ministries
gnm.org

Let's connect in GNM's community: See you there! 

Keep your eyes on Jesus!
And when you have to look at others, see them through his eyes.

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[arve url="https://youtu.be/ggPRtoabDm8" title="The Christmas Yes" description="Jesus said yes to humbling himself to become one of us because, as He says to you, “I want to be with you in every way and help you through every trial.”" upload_date="2020-12-07" thumbnail="23617" loop="no" muted="no" /]