For you this week:
- Reflection for Saturday: Do you know how important you are to God?
- Inside the Ministry: Ralph’s miracles
- This week’s WordBytes faith-builder: Miracles and the Holy Spirit
- Footsteps to Heaven podcast: How I met the Holy Spirit
This week’s Trivia Challenge: When did the Apostles first begin to feel courageous about spreading the Good News? (Check your answer at the end of this newsletter.)
Saturday June 4, 2022
Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved. (From Saturday’s Gospel reading)
Reflection for Saturday:
Do you know how important you are to God?
By Graciela Ramos, Assistant Director
In this Saturday’s Gospel reading, John proclaims himself, “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” He knew himself deeply loved by God, and it is this security in God’s love which allows John to be a faithful witness — a witness who, no matter what happens, will be firm in his convictions, in his beliefs, in his actions according to the Truth.
How did John know that Jesus loved him? Did they talk alone when Jesus showed his affection as a friend, as a brother? Was there any special sign performed by Jesus which showed John how much Jesus loved him? No, nothing special. But, yes! Everything Jesus did told John of his great love, not only for him, but for all the people around him!
Because John opened his whole being to the Holy Spirit, he could see in all Jesus’ gestures the great love he has for each and every one of us. John could see Jesus’ great love in the dead he raised, the paralyzed he made walk, the deaf he made hear, the blind he made see. He could recognize Jesus’ great love in his heartfelt tears for his friend Lazarus, in his gentle washing of the apostles’ feet, and in countless other ways that, as he himself said at the end of his Gospel, “the whole world wouldn’t be able to hold the books that could be written.”
Through a reprimand from Jesus, John learned not to worry about the future when he and his brother disputed the places in heaven. By watching an encounter between Jesus and Peter, John learned not to let curiosity about others overshadow Jesus’ message (John 21:20). John learned to pay close attention to the true words of Jesus, so that he could correct those who distorted his words (John 21:23). It was the love of Jesus “to the end” that conquered John, inspired him to fall in love, and compelled him to follow Jesus to the Cross.
How important it is to feel loved! Only then can we follow our Master. Only by feeling his deep love for us “to the end” will we be able to make the signs that he made “and even greater” (John 14:12). God is anxious to show us his love, and it is the Holy Spirit who is in charge of doing this. It is the Holy Spirit, sent by Jesus from the Father, who will fill our being with the peace that the world cannot give but cannot take away, the peace and love that only Jesus can give us.
To help you become more attuned to how precious and beloved you are to God, pray this prayer:
Come Holy Spirit, fill me.
Come Holy Spirit, renew me.
Come Holy Spirit, help me to come fully alive in Your love.
Come Holy Spirit, You have my permission to change me.
And read this WordByte: Be Satisfied With Me
Inside the Ministry: Ralph’s miracles
Ralph had been scheduled for open heart surgery in April to replace a severely malfunctioning valve. But during pre-op exams, we discovered that his hemoglobin was so low he could have died. So they found the cause and corrected it surgically. This postponed his heart surgery to June 9th.
While recovering, he ended up back in the hospital with an infection in his colon. Six more days in the hospital led to more discoveries.
Prayers from many friends and the Good News Prayer Network and the Seven Warriors of the Cross made a huge difference. Praise God!
(You too can join the Good News Prayer Network @ elists.gogoodnews.net/dada/mail.cgi/list/prayernetwork. Or join the Seven Warriors of the Cross @ gnm.org/7-warriors-of-the-cross.)
Doctors found that half of Ralph’s spleen had died. They think it had been damaged by a blood clot because he’d been off of blood thinners (needed because of A-fib) ever since the surgery in April. His doctor should have given orders to resume it but overlooked this important medicine. We naively assumed it was not an oversight. A blood clot resulted, and it could have traveled anywhere. Including the brain. Praise God that Ralph didn’t have a stroke! I keep thanking God over and over again for this. He protected Ralph!
And then came even more incredible news. Open heart surgery was cancelled because his valve is better!!! It went from “severe” to “mildly moderate” — which does not happen naturally nor medically. It is a miracle! And God always finishes what He starts.
His cardiology team thinks they have to consider other options to fix his valve. We’ll see!
Ralph’s pulse rate had been way too high for a long time despite medications. It improved when they reduced these meds, and his heart returned to normal sinus rhythm. Praise God!
Ralph came home from the hospital on the Thursday of the Feast of the Ascension of Jesus. We know that God’s timing has meaning. He was assuring us of Ralph’s ascension to a better life for the glory of God.
One of the valuable lessons we learned is that we must watch for mistakes made by doctors, because none of them are perfect, and if something happens that could have been prevented, when we daily entrust everything to the Father, he protects us and makes much good come from it.
This week’s recommended faith-builder:
Miracles and the Holy Spirit
Miracles are not meant to be extraordinary events. Jesus gave us His Holy Spirit so that we can do what He did. “If you believe in Me, you will do the same works I do, and even greater” (John 14:12).
For more on this, see “True Stories of Miracles” and how you, too, can experience Holy Spirit power. visit wordbytes.org/holy-spirit.
WordBytes is a library of Catholic faith-building articles by Good News Ministries. Come on in and explore! Visit WordBytes.org today.
How I met the Holy Spirit
Or: How to Receive the Holy Spirit
I’m praying that your Feast of Pentecost is a truly wonderful celebration this year. We truly need this “party” that honors the birth of the Catholic Church. After dealing with the crazy-evil world and its various infiltrations into our families, our workplaces, and our Church, this Feast Day is a much-welcome time of renewal. But for Pentecost to make a difference, we have to take it seriously, pay attention, and deeply desire to be illuminated by the Holy Spirit. We have to deeply desire to become the holy people of God we were created to be during our baptisms and open ourselves to the impossible. We need the divine encounter that Jesus has always desired for us.
Here is my personal story about how I met the Holy Spirit. As a child I knew Jesus Christ as my Savior and my Best Friend, but I knew nothing about the Holy Spirit. I found out the hard way that there is a very important reason why Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit, why he ascended to Heaven so that the Holy Spirit could come. The Holy Spirit protects us from being tricked by demons — and because I had no personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, demons led me into the occult while I searched for the supernatural power of God. This put me into quite a mess. Watch “How I met the Holy Spirit” to find out how I escaped.
This podcast ends with a prayer you can use every day until you receive that special anointing of the Holy Spirit that totally consumes your life.
Listen to this podcast @ gnm.org/footsteps75.
Or watch the video @ gnm-media.org/how-i-met-the-holy-spirit. Or if you prefer to read it, download the transcript at this link.
Answer to this week’s Trivia Challenge:
When did the Apostles first begin to feel courageous about spreading the Good News? On Pentecost after the Holy Spirit filled them.
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
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