For you this week:
- Reflection for Saturday: What was the dark night of the soul of Jesus?
- Inside the Ministry: Are you ready to conquer fear and worry?
- This week’s WordBytes faith-builder: What is God saying in evil times?
- Footsteps to Heaven podcast: 7 phases in the battle for union with Christ
This week’s Trivia Challenge: Why is Jesus called “the lamb of God”? (Check your answer at the end of this newsletter.)
Saturday April 1, 2023
From that day on they planned to kill him. So Jesus no longer walked about in public among the Jews. (From Saturday’s Gospel reading)
Reflection for Saturday:
What was the dark night of the soul of Jesus?
Jesus experienced a dark night of the soul in the Garden of Gethsemane. (I learned this from a meditation by Father Raniero Cantalamessa, Preacher to the Papal Household, which he gave to Pope Saint John Paul II in 2002.)
Dark nights often begin with rejection. Perhaps the dark night of Jesus’ soul began, as we see in the Gospel reading (John 11:45-56), when plans to kill him prevented him from walking around in public. How difficult and sad that must have been for him!
Although it happened several days before Good Friday, his hands were already being tied and his feet were being shackled, in a sense, because he was no longer free to minister to everyone or to reach out to and offer healing and salvation to those who needed it.
Have you ever been constrained from doing good for others? How do you feel about it? Does your soul cry out from a deep love for those you cannot reach?
Jesus hunkered down in Ephraim with his disciples while the chief priests and Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and asked, “What are we going to do to stop Jesus?”
Has anyone tried to stop you from fulfilling your calling, your God-given dream, your ministry?
We are reaching Palm Sunday. The whole of Holy Week is wrapped inside this special feast day, which is why it’s also called Passion Sunday. This is a week like no other week, and now is the time to ready ourselves to enter into it in such a way that we are transformed by it.
To live this week like it’s any other week is to waste a very precious gift. By next Saturday, we should be different than we are today: Our lives, or our relationship with Jesus, or the wounds in our hearts should somehow be changed between now and then.
The key to receiving this change is to unite your rejections and your sufferings to the Passion of Christ. Think of how your life imitates Christ’s Passion. For what reasons have you been mocked? Scourged? Crucified? Thank Jesus for being with you through it all. Make it redemptive (give it a purpose) by asking the Father to make good come from it. Pray that your sufferings will purify you. And ask God to bless those who persecute you. May the redemption of Christ reach their hearts and souls!
Now, allow yourself to experience Christ’s passionate love for you more than you normally do. Good News Ministries has an online, interactive, multi-media retreat that you can use for this. It’s entitled “Christ’s Passion for you” and it uses my photographs from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. See it @ wordbytes.org/passion-retreat.
Inside the Ministry:
Are you ready to conquer fear and worry?
At Good News Ministries, we encounter many people who are suffering from fear and worry. It’s so commonplace because evil has been getting away with so much. It’s destroyed relationships. It’s attacked mind and body. Our world has gone bonkers and there’s nothing we can do about it but pray. And so we pray and pray and pray, but Evil still is kicking back, harder and harder.
Jesus has made it very clear how we are to deal with this.
Think about anything in the news that shows Evil making progress. Or any troublesome incident in your family or workplace. Stop focusing on what’s evil. Stop talking about it. Don’t argue with anyone about it. Worship God instead.
In reality, everything that happens in this battle between good and evil is a sign — just like the Cross is a sign not of a victory by Evil but a victory by Jesus over evil.
God has chosen to allow evil to kick harder in our world today. Why? What is he up to? I personally believe that God is drawing a clear line and asking, “Whose side do you really want to be on? No longer can you comfortably believe that you can keep one foot in My kingdom and one foot in worldly ideas.”
God plans to make tremendous good come from every evil. This is how he mocks Evil and proves to everyone that Jesus is real.
For whom are you praying? We have on our website several prayers for victory over Evil; visit gnm.org/prayers/#victory.
To be set free from fear and worry, we MUST keep our eyes on Jesus and filter everything else through the lens of faith. Trust God. He’s not sitting idly by while Evil gains more victories. What Evil is doing is an illusion, because God’s reality is, frankly, the reality — though it’s not fully visible yet.
Right now, the world is being prepared for massive victory — the breakthrough of God’s reality. Jesus is saying, “Purify yourselves. You are called to be saints! Weed out every worldly way that you still cling to. Repent! Miracles happen when you are humble enough to be changed by My Holy Spirit.”
Bring to mind the blessings that God has brought into your life since Lent began. How have you been purified? What have you learned? Thank Jesus for these victories. This can be your final Lenten practice as you participate in Holy Week.
I pray that your Easter season will be an amazing time of recognizing the many ways that the Enemy is being defeated.
Next Event: Terry’s Corner
Live Zoom get-togethers start April 19
During the Easter Season, I’m opening my virtual doors to give you opportunities to conquer fear and worry. I’m here to be Christ’s instrument of healing for your broken heart. We’ll be using my book “30 Days to the Father’s Heart” to accomplish this healing.
People have been registering and voting for their preference of meeting time. There’s nearly a tie for two of the times: 2pm and 5pm eastern US time, so I’ll make myself available for both times. Watch for announcements!
What time of day works for you? Vote for your preference @ calendly.com/d/zy9-9zz-thc/terry-s-corner.
To register, visit us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIkf-ytrTgrH9bh45RVR8nhp_zIR3zhKTOt.
I hope to see you there!
This week’s recommended faith-builder:
What is God saying in evil times?
God will not hold back his justice forever. Demons know that God is soon going to do something tremendous to bring his justice into the world, and so they are desperately trying to cause as much damage as they can. They have upped their efforts to take to hell as many souls as they can before Christ intervenes.
For faith-filled followers of Christ, this is good news. The worse an evil gets, the bigger the blessings. Nothing happens that God has not chosen to allow, no matter how terrible or disruptive it gets, because he knows that it’s the best (perhaps only) way to turn stubborn hearts toward Christ and bring more souls to heaven. God is still and always will be in charge.
For more on this, visit wordbytes.org/victory/what-is-god-saying-in-evil-times.
WordBytes is a library of Catholic faith-building articles by Good News Ministries. Come on in and explore! Visit WordBytes.org today.
7 phases in the battle for union with Christ
The daily hardships we experience are affected by Satan and the prayers that we do and our connection to Christ. How much are your hardships demonically influenced? Some hardships are simply because we live in an imperfect world, but how do you know when you should take action against demons? I explain in this episode how to interpret your hardships in light of the 7 phases in the battle for union with Christ — 7 phases of spiritual growth that lead to a life of joy in the Lord during hardships through union with Christ.
Listen to this podcast @ gnm.org/footsteps13.
Sign up for early access to podcasts. New episodes of the podcast show Footsteps to Heaven are published before this newsletter goes out. You can be notified as soon as new ones are published! Subscribe at gnm-media.org for the podcast videos or at footstepstoheaven.com for the audio-only version.
Answer to this week’s Trivia Challenge:
Why is Jesus called “the lamb of God”? In Old Testament law, people sacrificed lambs to symbolically atone for their sins each year. The lamb had to be perfect (without blemish). Jesus was perfect (without sin) and offered himself to atone for our sins.
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. What can I cover in prayer for you? Post your prayer request.
How else can the team and I serve you today? Visit our homepage.
Thank you for reading this newsletter.
Your servant in Christ,
Terry Modica, Executive Director
Good News Ministries
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