For you this week:
- Reflection for Saturday: Is your zeal failing to make a difference?
- Inside the Ministry: Together we can be as loud as Elijah
This week’s Trivia Challenge: What was the one thing Elijah left behind when God took him to heaven? (Check your answer at the end of this newsletter.)
Saturday December 10, 2022
Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11
Like a fire there appeared the prophet Elijah whose words were like a flaming furnace. (From Saturday’s first reading)
Reflection for Saturday:
Is your zeal failing to make a difference?
By Graciela Ramos, Assistant Director
Don’t we all wish we had the zeal of the prophet Elijah? And the fire to burn evil out from our family or workplace or perhaps even in our parish?
Maybe you’ve had this experience: When we get involved in something that we hope will make a difference, everything seems new to us and we want to “soak up” everything around us.
Slowly we gain confidence and, little by little, we “manage” the service and start to have “everything clear”. But what we do not have clear yet is that Jesus cannot be managed or predicted. Although it seems that we know him, even if we walk miles and miles with him, he will always be new, always disconcerting, always “the other”.
Typically, we wish we could control everything (motivated by our fears). So we begin to decide what Jesus should do and what he should not do because it is not right for him to do it (according to our poor criteria). We decide which doors he should open and which ones he should close. We decide which people can enter a church ministry and which ones should “stay outside” purifying themselves of their sins. We tell God whom he should bless and whom he should turn away from his sight.
In these difficult times, we must learn to tune in to the Holy Spirit. We must learn what the “sound of the Spirit’s voice” is like, to avoid falling into extremism. Discernment is a charism that we must persistently ask for, especially those of us who are pastors in some way: parents, teachers, priests, etc., because, if we remain blind to who truly God is, we could be leading the sheep to the abyss. And we may fall, too.
In order to know better who the Holy Spirit is and how he helps guide us through the plan that the Father has for us, use the Good News WordBytes about the Holy Spirit on our website @ wordbytes.org/HolySpirit. Take our video courses, How to Hear the Holy Spirit, Living in the Power of the Holy Spirit and How to Pray in the Power of the Holy Spirit, all found in our Paracletia site @ gnm.org/paracletia.
Inside the Ministry:
Together we can be as loud as Elijah
This Saturday’s readings for Mass talk a lot about the prophet Elijah. His life’s work — his passion — was to turn people’s hearts back to God.
Today, in all the ways that people have turned away from God, the world desperately needs modern-day Elijahs. You, too, are a prophet whenever you invite people to turn back to Christ or to embrace the ways of Christ.
Be assured of this: When you invest in the mission of Good News Ministries — with your prayers, volunteer time, funding — you support the prophet voice of our mission. You proclaim the Good News. Together, we make a bigger difference changing hearts for Christ than we could ever do separately.
To continue this voice in 2023, if you haven’t done so yet, please contribute generously at gnm.org/donate. Here, you can make an online donation, text to give, or use the Givers App. The total to reach before January is US$ 40,000.
To those who have very limited funds, here’s an idea: Fast for one meal and offer the sacrifice as a prayer for those who can be generous. Then send in the cost of that meal as a gift of thanks to Jesus for all he has done for you. This is a significant way to grow stronger spiritually while also amplifying your prophetic voice through ours.
To those who cannot make donations because of the country they live in and the exchange rate, please be generous to a local ministry that serves as the prophetic voice of Christ while offering your prayer support for Good News Ministries.
And to all: Whenever you receive our fundraising emails, which go out to all who have ever signed up for any of our resources, please use these as a reminder to pray for Good News Ministries to get the funding that will enable us to continue.
Answer to this week’s Trivia Challenge:
What was the one thing Elijah left behind when God took him to heaven? His cloak (see 2 Kings 2:7-14). This meant that his apprentice Elisha would continue his mentor’s ministry. A prophet’s mantle was a sign of his authority and responsibility as God’s chosen spokesperson.
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
Find this and past issues at gnm.org/newsletter. Please share what will minister to others.