For you this week:
- Reflection for Saturday: Giving gifts of heroic trust in Jesus
- Inside the Ministry: Trusting God cheerfully
- Advent podcast: Four Gifts for Jesus
This week’s Trivia Challenge: What gift did Jesus give us so we could courageously proclaim the Good News? (Check your answer at the end of this newsletter.)
Saturday December 3, 2022
“Go to the lost sheep…. As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” (from Saturday’s Gospel reading).
Reflection for Saturday:
Giving gifts of heroic trust in Jesus
Jack is a Vietnam vet with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In his search for peace and healing, he happened across Good News Ministries.
“Go to the lost sheep….” This Saturday’s Gospel reading is one of the scriptures that my husband Ralph and I have always taken very seriously. We heard these words of Jesus in 1995 as a calling to found Good News Ministries. And when he said, “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give,” we felt convicted, from Day One, to write into our bylaws the rule that we would never charge for anything. We’d trust God to cover our costs through people who believe in the mission of Good News Ministries.
Was it scary? Of course! But we knew that we must trust God in this. And it’s still scary twice a year when GNM’s bank account runs low.
Since then, this ministry has grown so much that it needs a staff of six, our own server and other expenses amounting to about $180,000 (USD) each year. How do we do it? Well, the truth is — we don’t. Jesus does. Our staff motto is: Jesus leads, Grace provides. We do what Jesus directs us to do, spreading the Kingdom of God, and it’s the grace of God that inspires people to join us through their support (prayer support and financial donations). We have no other source of funding.
Everyone who partners with us are heroes championing the Good News. They are obeying Jesus’ command to “Go to the lost sheep and proclaim that the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
It’s important to realize that all donations are gifts from Jesus that bring others closer to Jesus. Without cost you have received from Jesus; without cost you are to give to others to help them discover the saving, healing love of Jesus.
I can’t forget the time our heroes rescued Jack. Until he discovered our website, he was a lost sheep. Maybe you’ve been praying for someone like him.
Jack told me, “I was browsing on your website and came across your online retreats. Then I watched the video course “How to hear the Holy Spirit” (gnm.org/paracletia-course-description-C03), and it was as though you were talking directly to me…. That video series opened my heart and mind to something — Jesus — that I never felt before. It has changed my life. Having PTSD, I now know I’m not alone but have the Lord to help me. This has made a huge difference with my depression and anxiety. I’m now reading 2 books about Jesus and want to learn all I can.”
Come to think of it, in one way or another, the entirety of Jesus’ missionary instructions were fulfilled when GNM’s heroes ministered to Jack: “Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons.”
Inside the Ministry:
Trusting God cheerfully
When fear says we cannot do what the Lord calls us to do, it’s difficult to obey and be cheerful about it. Especially when it comes to trusting God with our finances.
“Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.
“But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob Me.
“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing You?’ In tithes and offerings,” says the Lord Almighty.
“You are under a curse — your whole nation — because you are robbing Me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My House. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” (Malachi 3:7b-19)
It is a blessing to serve the Lord by helping others discover the Good News. Whether this includes tithing to your local parish, Good News Ministries, and/or other worthy charities, it not truly a tithing unless it involves making a sacrifice — thus honoring the sacrifice that Jesus made for you. Although the word “tithe” means 10% of our income, spiritually it means aiming for 100% trust in God.
We can never out-do God in generosity. That’s how Good News Ministries has thrived while never charging a fee for any of our services.
It’s time for our annual December fundraiser. Please be a hero and make your Spirit-guided donation now @ gnm.org/donate. But if you cannot do this, then please use other ways to champion the outreach efforts of Good News Ministries; visit gnm.org/support-beyond-donations.
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously… God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:6-9).
Four Gifts for Jesus (Advent podcast)
Advent is a time of waiting for the joy of Christmas. Four gifts that we can give to Jesus are described in my Virtual Reality series of meditations. Enter a virtual park of peaceful scenery and listen to four very short reflections. Take a personal retreat break.
What do you suppose are four gifts that Jesus would like to receive from you?
No VR headset is needed. And if you prefer audio without visual scenery, we have a podcast version too.
Go to our Virtual Reality website @ catholicvr.net/four-gifts-for-jesus-advent-retreat.
Answer to this week’s Trivia Challenge:
What gift did Jesus give us so we could courageously share the Good News? The Holy Spirit. (Read John 20:21-22)
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.
Let’s connect in GNM’s own SmartCatholics community, called Good News Faith Builders. I’m available to interact with you there.
Thank you for reading this newsletter.
Your servant in Christ,
Terry Modica, Executive Director
Good News Ministries
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