For you this week:
- Reflection for Saturday: When you’re treated unjustly, God is your Advocate
- Inside the Ministry: Where are you in the triangle of faith-growth?
This week’s Trivia Challenge: When do the 12 Days of Christmas begin? (Check your answer at the end of this newsletter.)
Saturday December 17, 2022
Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace forever. (Saturday’s responsorial)
Reflection for Saturday:
When you’re treated unjustly, God is your Advocate
I get frustrated when scripture makes it clear that God’s clock goes at a much slower speed than mine. You too? Take this Saturday’s responsorial psalm: We proclaim, “Justice shall flourish in his time….” Who’s time? God’s? Well, humph! What about my time? I need justice now! Doesn’t he know that Eternity is a very different time zone than mine?
Recently, Ralph and I chatted about injustices that have been committed against us. We’re not angry; we’ve forgiven those who treated us unlovingly. We weren’t complaining; that doesn’t fix anything. The point of our conversation was to remind each other of God’s priorities.
It’s easy to make the injustices the top priority. In my case, I tend to go overboard in trying to make things right. Instead of waiting on God, I stand up, speak up, search for words that can influence the person who treated me unjustly — all too fast. Yes, I take time to pray about it. But then what?
After I try and fail to make a difference with the person who sinned against me, I forgive them (because Jesus said I should, and because I learned a long time ago that unforgiveness keeps us chained to the people who hurt us), and then I forget. Forgive and forget is the right thing to do, right? WRONG — if forgetting leaves you vulnerable to Satan’s ploys.
Ever since we founded Good News Ministries in 1995, the Devil has tried again and again to stop us. Often it’s used key people in my life to try to distract me away from God’s plans. The most recent example: Last Friday my 91-year-old Mom fell and broke her arm. She’s going to need to be in a rehab nursing facility over Christmas. I know she’s depressed about this, and I hate to see her go through that.
But there are demons who know how to take advantage of this. It’s all too easy for me to ignore my husband’s needs and my own needs when Mom feels bad.
Here’s the lesson that our Divine Daddy has been trying to teach me: When my mother gets my attention, Good News Ministries loses it. I must pray about every decision. How do I love and honor my mother and at the same time love and honor your needs and the many thousands of others I’m called to serve?
Last Sunday after receiving Jesus in the Eucharist, as I knelt and prayed, God put an image in my mind. There was a very clear line with two footprints alongside it, heel to toe. The footprints were my feet. My mother was on the other side of the line. Daddy-God said:
“Terry, you’re trying to help your mother make the right decisions and be as happy as she can be. You have a good heart, but you’re in the way. Your helpfulness is blocking her from crossing the line. For the sake of her soul, there are some decisions she needs to choose for herself.”
In that moment of enlightenment, as I assented to it and thanked God, demons fled. I literally felt set free. Lighter! In the Light! They came back on Monday when Mom nearly endangered herself with a bad decision, but God worked through Ralph to help me hold the line without stepping on it.
So — never mind injustices. Daddy-God will take good care of you while also arranging what is best for each person who’s involved. He’s doing a lot that you cannot see yet. Your top priority is to trust God. This requires having a good prayer life so that you can cooperate with him and do what he calls you to do when he says it’s time to do it.
Keep your eyes on Jesus. Rest in the Father’s lap. And listen to the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit.
(NOTE: If it’s difficult for you to see God as a protective, caring Daddy, get my book “30 Days to the Father’s Heart” @ 30daystothefathersheart.com.)
Inside the Ministry:
Where are you in the triangle of faith-growth?
Good News Ministries has a triangle-shaped apostolate.
The biggest part, the bottom of the triangle, is made of people who find us as they search for the real Jesus. In today’s dark world of selfishness, cruelty, and uncertainty, more people are seeking his help. We give them a foundation of true faith. Most of them give little or nothing back; their faith doesn’t grow much until they choose the next level.
The next level is where we serve Catholics who already have a relationship with Jesus. Fewer in number, they come seeking new insights that strengthen their faith. They give us loyalty, telling others about our services. Sometimes they give support, too, when a fund-raising appeal reminds them that we cannot continue serving them if we run out of funding.
At the highest level of faith, which is the smallest part of the triangle, are people who want to help others find Jesus and grow stronger in faith. They are the champions of Good News Ministries. They feel passionate about what we do. It is they who keep this ministry going.
Which level have you reached? My staff and I consider it an honor to serve you.
Remember, growth comes from doing what is difficult. When it’s a real sacrifice, it is union with Christ.
To keep this ministry going beyond January, please donate now.
If you can’t take this step because of a very limited income, here’s an idea: Fast for one meal and offer the sacrifice as a prayer for those who don’t know Jesus. 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 spiritually stronger.
Answer to this week’s Trivia Challenge:
When do the 12 Days of Christmas (also called Christmastide) begin? The popular Christmas song, “The 12 Days of Christmas,” refers to the ancient Catholic tradition of celebrating the Christmas season from December 26th through Epiphany (January 6th). Liturgically, Christmas Day begins with the first Mass after sunset on Christmas Eve and ends with the celebration of the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Ordinary Time begins the day after that.
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.