For you this week:
- Reflection for Saturday: Here’s the secret reason why sinfulness prevails
- Inside the Ministry: Our new design for the daily reflections is better than imagined!
- This week’s WordBytes faith-builder: How Ralph and I learned to overcome our financial fears
- Video: Why do you believe?
This week’s Trivia Challenge: Which letter in the New Testament talks about the perseverance of Job? (Check your answer at the end of this newsletter.)
Saturday August 13, 2022
Ezekiel 18:1-10, 13, 30-32
Psalm 51:12-15, 18-19
Cast away from you all the sins you have committed, and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit…. For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies, says the Lord GOD. Return and live! (From Saturday’s first reading)
Reflection for Saturday:
Here’s the secret reason why sinfulness prevails
The Father always has our best interests at heart. The teachings of Christ are an embrace by Abba-Father’s love, and it is felt by those who want to be holy. Then why is there so much unholiness in today’s world?
When we think of God as The Punisher, our natural inclination is to live in self-protection mode. We convince ourselves and others that what we’re doing that feels wrong is really not wrong. To avoid punishment (or so we think), we choose to believe that sin is not sin — which is the heresy of moral relativism. When we sin, we justify ourselves, blame others for our mistakes, and hide from our need to repent.
The word “repent” usually carries with it the feeling of condemnation: We are bad. This works against our need to believe that we are okay and we are loved no matter what we’ve done. But “repent” actually means “to change direction” after realizing that where we’ve been going (or what we’ve been doing) isn’t good after all. Here’s the secret reason why sinfulness prevails: the need for repentance can cause us to feel fearful.
In other words (and it’s healing to know this), it’s the direction we’re headed that’s bad, not us.
God made each of us good! Yes, even you and even the worst person in the world. Holiness is our core nature, our true nature. On the sixth day of creation, God said, “Let us make humans next — in our image, in our likeness.” God’s traits are at the core of our nature! He looked over everything he had created — including you — and declared it “very good.” (See Genesis 1:26-31.)
Sin — even when we don’t believe it’s a sin — interrupts our goodness. It interrupts our relationship with our Good Father, so he sent Jesus the Savior to redirect us away from the path to Hell and toward the path to Heaven. Jesus took our sins upon his sinless self and nailed them to the Cross with his Body. He conquered sin for us by letting our sins destroy him, dying for us. Then he overcame this destruction through his resurrection. When we embrace this truth, we are set free to be who we really are (made in the image of our Father).
What does embracing the truth look like? Repentance. Changing direction. Going to the Sacrament of Confession and receiving the supernatural grace we need to overcome our sinful tendencies.
The reason why sinfulness prevails so widely in our world today is because our cultures have abandoned the true meaning of fatherhood. In this environment, ideas about God’s Fatherhood are filled with wrong images that come from poor examples of fatherhood. (Even the best of dads are imperfect.) How can we trust God as our Father when we don’t know what a truly good father is?
Here’s the secret reason why sinfulness prevails. Sin prevails because repentance is scary. Repentance is scary because it’s natural to (i.e., without conscious deliberation) project onto God the fatherhood traits of humans who have caused us pain. It’s vitally important to heal from those wrong images and see God as he truly is. That’s why I wrote the book 30 Days to the Father’s Heart (30daystothefathersheart.com). The reflection above is an excerpt.
The Father is holding out his hands, arms open wide, to pull you into his heart safely, securely, tenderly and forgivingly. Jesus is with you on this journey.
Want to help others find this same healing? Share my book. Let’s change the world by spreading the truths about God’s good Fatherhood.
Inside the Ministry: Our new design for the daily reflections is better than imagined!
Celebrate! Praise the Lord! The most important and most used part of our website — the daily Good News Reflections — is so pretty and fun to use!
It’s evolution began in 1999 when they were only simple emails. Later, I added them to our website as html files that we had to manually change every day. In 2012, we put them all into a database and hired someone to write the PHP code that displayed them on the website and in the emails. This worked great until the code became outdated.
Now the daily reflections are “posts” (webpages) that match the updated theme of the rest of the site. We’re still tweaking it; your feedback is appreciated. And we’re still working on switching the emailed reflections to the new format.
New features include:
(1) You can now easily find next Sunday’s reflection. It’s the first thing you see when you use the nav bar in the site menu to go to gnm.org/good-news-reflections. This is especially useful to priests and deacons seeking homily help. And it will give everyone a whole week to reflect on the upcoming Sunday’s readings, which will delight many faith sharing groups.
(2) You can see one whole week at a glance. This means that Saturday’s reflection (this newsletter) is now included.
(3) It’s fully flexible for any size device. It now looks much better on phone screens than the old format did.
(4) It’s fully searchable using the website’s search tool. The old format was not findable except by custom search script written specifically for the Good News Reflections.
(5) They can now be found by search sites (Bing, Google, Seekr, DuckDuckGo, etc.).
(6) You can scroll through them by liturgical cycles. We’re currently busy adding the reflections to the Cycle C category (gnm.org/category/daily-reflections/cycle-c) and the Year 2 category (gnm.org/category/daily-reflections/year-2).
(7) While scrolling through liturgical categories, you can see a snippet of each post in case you’re looking for inspiration instead of just one particular day’s reflection.
Whooo hoooo! Like I said, praise the Lord! I’m doing the Happy Dance.
Coming soon: Pray for it!
Healing our image of God’s Fatherhood will be one of the topics of “Terry’s Corner”.
This will become top priority after (1) we reach the $35,000 (USD) fundraising goal, and (2) we’ve hired a webmaster. Please help make it happen! Add your support @ gnm.org/donate.
This week’s recommended faith-builder:
How Ralph and I learned to overcome our financial fears
For a long time, we worried about our finances, yet all that worrying didn’t improve anything. We didn’t really believe that if we handled things God’s way, he would take care of us. The more we tried running things our way, the worse our financial situation became.
Read our testimony @ wordbytes.org/finances/tithing.
WordBytes is a library of Catholic faith-building articles by Good News Ministries. Come on in and explore! Visit WordBytes.org today.
Why do you believe?
How would you answer this question: “Why do you believe that the Good News about Jesus needs to be spread throughout the world?”
Listen to what several members of Good News Ministries said. Go ahead! It will only take 3 minutes. Be inspired!
Watch the video @ gnm-media.org/why-do-you-believe.
Answer to this week’s Trivia Challenge:
Which letter in the New Testament talks about the perseverance of Job? James: “Blessed are those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” (5:11)
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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