December 31, 2022

Insider's View newsletter

For you this week:

  • Reflection for Saturday: The question of the final hour
  • Inside the Ministry: New year, new success
  • This week’s WordBytes faith-builder: Living in a Time of Major Crises: The Final Hour

This week’s Trivia Challenge: What’s the difference between saying that Jesus “was born of the Virgin Mary” and that he “was incarnate of the Virgin Mary” in the Nicene Creed? (Find the answer at the end of this newsletter.)


Saturday December 31, 2022

Scriptures1 John 2:18-21
Ps 96:1-2, 11-13
John 1:1-18
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/123122.cfm
Podcast:
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/2022-12-31-usccb-daily-mass-readings-0

Saints Calendar:
gnm.org/saints-find/saints-calendar

Children, it is the last hour. You heard that the antichrist is coming; so now many antichrists have appeared. Thus we know this is the last hour. (From Saturday’s first reading)


Reflection for Saturday:
The question of the final hour

stained glass window showing the Second Coming of ChristThis Saturday’s first reading tells us: “Children, it is the last hour.” Well, what is the “last hour”? Is it the Second Coming of Christ? When will it finally happen? Or has it happened already?

Since the day Jesus ascended to Heaven, people have been looking for the Second Coming of Christ, expecting it to happen soon, wishing it would happen very soon to rescue our world from the evil-doings of multiple major crises.

It seems like now would be a good time for it, right? In today’s world, we’re keenly aware of bad news and the rampant immorality that’s been occurring everywhere. And it’s only been getting worse, becoming full-blown crises. Where is Jesus? When is that “last hour”?

If we look, we can see Jesus working tirelessly to make good come from bad. Keep looking for signs of hope and renewal! Look for what Jesus wants to do today, right now — and you know how he’ll do it, right? The victory of Jesus is activated through you and me and other believers who serve as his hands and feet and voice. We can expect him to bring his victory to earth by making good come from bad in our lives and, through our participation in the good actions of Christian community, in the world.

Scripturally, the “last hour” means the era of the Holy Spirit who empowers us to change the world by continuing the mission of Christ. Instead of relying on his Second Coming, we are to bring Christ more fully into the world — now!

Saturday’s Gospel reading draws us back to the first hour: “In the beginning was the Word.” Jesus is the first and the last Word. As the old year ends and the new year begins, let us ask: “What will I do in the new year to be the Good News of Jesus and renew our world?”

Choosing to serve the Lord in partnership with Good News Ministries is an answer to that question. Share with others what God has given you: your time, your talents, your income. By serving with us, you make an impact, renewing the world by renewing the Church by renewing and activating the faith of more and more Catholics.

Click this button if you are thinking,
I want to help by making a donation


two hands connecting two puzzle pieces

Inside the Ministry: New year, new success

Successful ministry happens when an organization’s members refuse to allow it to stagnate, empowering it to use its charisms and strengths to reach new people and make a bigger impact. At Good News Ministries, we can successfully keep doing what we’ve been doing only if we have enough people championing this cause. And we can expand our impact only if we are joined by tough champions who dig in and take a stand when it feels too hard to do it.

Many of us are so tired and ready to be done with 2022. But now is not the time to give up, sit on the sidelines, and hope that others will step in and do the heroic work of making a difference in the faith of others. Are you with me? The Enemy is fighting us hard, so we must take a crucial stand, right behind Jesus, and keep marching forward.

Have you done enough for Jesus yet? I know I haven’t!

Click this button if you are thinking,
I want to help by making a donation


WordBytes

This week’s recommended faith-builder:
Living in a Time of Major Crises: The Final Hour

Let’s look at the “last hour” in terms of history. History repeats itself; an analysis of historical, social trends reveals cycles of alternating renewal and deterioration. We are, in fact, at the same part of the cycle as the Great Depression and the two World Wars of the early 1900s. That means that we are living through years of increasing deterioration, and eventually this will lead to a new renewal period.

As I’ve prayerfully studied this phenomenon of historical cycles, I’ve gained confidence in the future. Of course God will once again make good come from bad! For example, I believe that Church scandals we lead to an increase of holy vocations. I also believe that respect for the life of unborn babies will spread because selfish individualism, which makes abortion seem like such a good idea, will prove devastatingly empty and unsatisfying.

Remember, if we just look at the bad that’s happening, we easily lose hope. We naturally want Jesus to hurry up and bring us total victory over evil by destroying all evil-doers and rapturing us away from this terrible world.

Instead, we should look for Jesus in what he is doing now and expect him to bring his victory to Earth by making good come from bad.

For more on this, visit wordbytes.org/social-justice/living-in-a-time-of-major-crises where you can also download a printable copy.

WordBytes is a library of Catholic faith-building articles by Good News Ministries. Come on in and explore! Visit WordBytes.org today.


Trivia QuestionAnswer to this week’s Trivia Challenge:
What’s the difference between saying that Jesus “was born of the Virgin Mary” and that he “was incarnate of the Virgin Mary” in the Nicene Creed? It’s an important matter of semantics. To say, “Jesus was born of Mary” sounds like she gave birth to God. The original creed in Latin emphasized her participation in providing flesh (a human body) for Jesus, i.e., the “incarnation” of Jesus.

Mary is the “theotokos” — the Mother of God — only by the fact that she carried (“bore”) Jesus the Son in her womb and mothered him throughout his childhood years. She did not carry God the Father or God the Holy Spirit in her womb, although her womb did hold Christ’s unity with the Father and the Spirit. For more on this, and to download the full answer, go to the Good News WordBytes article “Was Mary the Mother of God?” @ wordbytes.org/faqs/mary-mother-of-god.


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.

Terry ModicaYour servant in Christ,
Terry Modica, Executive Director
Good News Ministries
gnm.org

share the Insider's View newsletterFind this and past issues at gnm.org/newsletter. Please share what will minister to others.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

1 Comment
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Siobhan
Siobhan
Guest
January 7, 2023 4:56 PM

I Thank God for Terry Modica and her powerful ministry. I’m so so blessed that the Holy spirit led me to her beautiful simple teachings
Thank you Terry