June 11, 2022

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For you this week:

  • Reflection for Saturday: Look at how far you’ve come!
  • Inside the Ministry: Surviving a major crash of the Good News Reflections
  • This week’s WordBytes faith-builder: Self-Assessment Tests for Discerning Your Special Calling

This week’s Trivia Challenge: What was Barnabas’ real name?
(Check your answer at the end of this newsletter.)


Saturday June 11, 2022

Scriptures

Acts 11:21-26; 13:1-3
Ps 98:1-6
Matthew 5:33-37
bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/061122.cfm
Podcast:
bible.usccb.org/podcasts/audio/2022-06-11

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

Barnabas … encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart, for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. (From Saturday’s first reading)


Reflection for Saturday: Look at how far you’ve come!

Saint Barnabas

Are you a Barnabas? He sometimes seems to have disappeared in St. Paul’s shadow. For a long time, these two men were partners in ministry, but Paul is the one we remember because of his abundant writings. Barnabas was no less of an apostle, no less important in the mission of Christ. We get a glimpse of this in today’s first reading.

Are you comparing yourself to the Pauls in your life and ranking yourself as less important? Or perhaps you’re not reaching your full potential in ministry because you sell yourself short, doing less than others because you think you can never do it as well as others.

Comparisons are fine if we use the information to make good decisions. But if it results in raising up one person as superior to another, it’s evil. It denies the dignity and giftedness and uniqueness of the so-called “inferior” individual. When comparing ourselves to others, if it raises us up or puts us down, it’s a sin. It paralyzes us from doing all that we can do. Comparisons are always based on the wrong assumption that we fully know the people we’re comparing.

The only valid comparison, the only helpful comparison, is who we are today versus who we were in the past. In short: how far we’ve come. We can only rightfully compare ourselves against ourselves. This is what leads us to repentance when we’ve sinned, to healing when we discover old wounds, and to better use of our giftedness.

It is not prideful to pat ourselves on the back for the goodness that is in us, or for what we’ve overcome, or for how much we’ve grown, as long as we recognize that God is the source of all this. Indeed, noticing how we’ve improved gives us the stamina and insight to continue improving, all of which glorifies God in whose image we were made.

Barnabas happily fulfilled his calling as an apostle, because it didn’t bother him that Paul was more famous. Are you a Barnabas? No! You are an incomparably unique and wonderful masterpiece of God, called to do what you are uniquely able to do.

Pray with Saint Barnabas in our Daily Prayers with the Saints @ gogoodnews.net/posts/saint-barnabas.


Inside the Ministry:
Surviving a major crash of the Good News Reflections

The Good News Reflections page @ gnm.org/good-news-reflections needs a complete overhaul. It no longer works.

crashed car

It’s the second-most popular page. (Can you guess the top-most popular? Keep reading.) Maintaining the daily reflections is a team effort and it requires a lot of resources. We deliver by email, Telegram, and webpage for each of the 3 Sunday cycles and 2 daily liturgy cycles. The team makes sure that Feast Days are properly scheduled. We add podcast recordings of the reflections. And we’re always paying attention for ways to minister more fully in the reflections, such as including links to related content. 

The code for the current design was written eight years ago. Meanwhile, website platforms (we use WordPress) keep changing to make the pages work on newer browsers and mobile devices. On May 23rd, the newest WordPress version killed our Daily Reflections page. Some of our code was automatically deprecated (no longer functional).

Robert our PHP coder searched line by line through our old code (there’s a lot of it!) to figure out how to make the page work again. He could patch it, but the next WordPress update might deprecate other parts of it. And this problem will continue to occur as more time passes.

A much better action plan is to start from scratch and write new code, creating  a completely new — and much improved — “plugin” that runs the Good News Reflections. Robert’s been working on it; he thinks it will be finished by the end of June.

Creating the new Good News Reflections plugin will cost $4000-5000 USD. Last month, one very supportive champion of the Good News donated $4000 for other upgrades:

The easiest way to champion the cause of the Good News Reflections is to make a pledge by choosing a weekly or monthly amount that accumulates to $1000. Will you help? Visit our donations page @ gnm.org/donate. Thank you!

Meanwhile, what do you think is our most popular page? It’s the Random Quotes @ wordbytes.org/random-quote. They are personal messages for you, selected  by God because there’s no such thing as “random” when Christ is the Lord of your life. Enjoy!


WordBytes

This week’s recommended faith-builder:
Self-Assessment Tests for Discerning Your Special Calling

Test #1: Getting to Know Your Giftedness.
Test #2: What paralyzes me from saying yes to the right calling?
Test #3: Testing Your Talents

Visit wordbytes.org/master-needs-you/discernment-tests.

See also our other ministry discernment tools: The Master Needs You @ wordbytes.org/evangelization-ministry/of-the-laity/#master.

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


Good News Media Library

Explore our Catholic Video Library for Faith Growth

How do you want to grow your faith today? Try these Catholic videos by Good News Ministries!


Trivia QuestionAnswer to this week’s Trivia Challenge:
What was Barnabas’ real name? Before the Apostles changed his name to Barnabas, his given name was Joseph. “Barnabas” means “son of encouragement” — Acts 4:36


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

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